Archive | January 2014

“But , Father, …

“But , Father, I have read in a newspaper that a bishop has done such a thing, or a priest who has done this thing.’ Oh yes, I read it, too. Tell me, though: do the papers carry news of what great charity so many priests, so many priests in so many parishes of the city and the countryside, perform? Of the great work they do in carrying their people forward? No? This is not news. It is the same as always: a single falling tree makes more noise than a forest that grows. Today, thinking about this anointing of David, it will do us good to think of our brave, holy , good , faithful bishops and priests, and pray for them. We are here today thanks to them.”

Pope Francis in his homily today – read more here  


Stocking the Freezer

In preparation for baby #5 my husband and I have been cooking like crazy to stock the freezer.  We are usually blessed with kind friends and family who bring us meals after each baby is born.  But this usually only happens for a couple of weeks, and we don’t want to presume we will have help, so I like to make a lot of freezer meals that can be reheated easily.  Over the past couple weeks we have made about a month’s worth of meals for the freezer.  Luckily we have a full-size freezer out in the garage for storing all these things.  So this post may be rather boring, but below is a list of what I cooked this time around:

  • sauce for pasta
  • borracho beans
  • chicken soup
  • pea soup
  • beef soup
  • pinto beans
  • lentil soup
  • pasta fagiole
  • steak pizzaiola
  • pepper steak
  • meatloaf 
  • stuffed peppers 
  • fried rice
  • stew stock
  • chicken pot pie
  • eggplant parmiggiano
  • Spanish rice
  • sweet and sour pork
  • sausage and peppers
  • quiche
  • chicken enchiladas

And below is what my wonderful husband cooked on the grill:

  • chicken fajitas
  • beef fajitas
  • pork tenderloin
  • hamburgers
  • brisket

Prayer of St. Gertrude

A favorite prayer in our family:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Read about St. Gertrude here.

Happy birthday Big Viking

Today is the fifth birthday of our #2 son.  I can’t believe it’s already been five years since he was born.  When it was close to a week after his due date, and my blood pressure was creeping up, my doctor and and I decided to schedule his induction.  So one week after his due date my husband and I headed in to the hospital.  It was something like 5 AM and as my husband came to a rolling stop at a stop sign in our neighborhood, we were pulled over by the town police!  When the officer asked where we were going we let him know that we were on the way to the hospital to have a baby.  When are we ever going to have that excuse again?  My husband did tell him that I wasn’t in labor, it was a scheduled thing, but the officer looked at me and ask if I was okay long enough for him to do his paperwork.  He let us off with a warning and we were on our way.  A few minutes later I realized I had forgotten my i.d. at home.  Not knowing if I would need it, we headed back, but I made my husband go into the neighborhood through a back road.  I didn’t want the police officer thinking we had lied to him!

We finally made it to the hospital and all went very smoothly from there.  By far this was the quickest labor I have ever had.  It was so quick that our big 9 lb. 11 oz. boy’s lungs collapsed upon delivery.  The details are hazy, but I recall hearing the doctor call in the NICU team as our son was being born.  I remember that after he was born there wasn’t much crying, and I thought that was strange.  The team worked on him a few minutes in the delivery room and then took him out to the NICU.  I sent my husband with them so we would know what was happening.  Shortly after the doctor finished her work and left, as did the delivery nurses.  That left me all alone in the room with a student nurse who was so nervous and didn’t know what to do.  I think she felt relieved to get out of there when she offered to get me something to drink and I accepted.  So there I was, all alone after having just delivered our boy.  I had no idea how he was doing or what was going on.  Fortunately my husband came back soon after and a NICU doctor came to give us the prognosis.  Our son had collapsed both lungs and their estimate was that he would have to stay in the NICU for a week.

We spent a lot of time down at NICU and the nurses were fantastic!  I’m sure it must be a difficult one, but what a great vocation for them.  Every single one was attentive, kind, and went out of their way for us.  They joked about how our son was the biggest baby they had seen in their ward in a long time.  They are used to preemie babies, and our great big boy took up a huge portion of the little bed.  He had to wear what we called a space helmet as he got enough oxygen.  He also had a feeding tube put in.

A day and a half after delivery I was discharged from the hospital but we had to leave our little boy there.  I remember holding back tears as the nurse wheeled me down to the car.  She was so nice and motherly and told me a similar story when she had to leave her little one.  She gave me permission to have my cry, and sure enough once I got it out, I felt much better.  We of course spent much of our time at the hospital.  I was able to pump and bring in some food for our baby to be put through his feeding tube.  Two or so days after being born, the nurse said he was doing so well that we could try feeding him with a bottle.  She warned us that he probably wouldn’t eat much and it would take a while for him to finish.  Five minutes later we showed up at the nurses’ station with an empty bottle.  She jumped up, laughed and said, “I’m taking out his feeding tube!”

Our boy recovered so quickly that the original estimate of a week in the NICU actually ended up only being about 3 days.  We got to bring our boy home sooner than expected.

I thank God for my beautiful boy.  He is a handful, but also a joy!  Thank you, Lord, for every day you give me with him!100_1494


As I mentioned in my previous post, this time a year ago we were preparing to leave on our big trip to Disney World.  This means that this time last year I was in the middle of packing suitcases. The first thing I do before packing a single item is make a list of everything that everyone might need packed, including socks, shoes, clothing, diapers, bibs, toiletries, sweatshirts, etc.  The list used to be on paper and I found myself having to replicate the list for every trip.  So for this trip I chose to create a OneNote including boxes where I could check off every every item as it got packed.  Each family member has a column and underneath the clothing items to be packed is a list of other miscellaneous items such as cameras, chargers, and the like.  By making this list digital, I found that I no longer need to re-create it for each trip, but just modify it for the location.

After I get the list straight, then go through each member of the family’s closet and gather each item needed.  Each person then gets a pile on our king-size bed.  Previously I would pack the suitcases based on the person.  Each member would get a section of a suitcase.  I discovered a few years ago, however, that it was MUCH easier for us when we reached our destination if I packed according to day rather than by person.  So after gathering everyone’s clothes, I make a pile for each day.  For example Monday’s pile would have an outfit (including undergarments) for my husband, myself, and each child.  Each pile is then placed in a soft-sided zipper bag like this one I found at The Container Store, and each bag is labeled with the day of the week.  In addition I make separate bags for pajamas, emergency outfits for the kids, and swimsuits or sweatshirts.

I have found this system to be extremely helpful because when we arrive at our destination I only need to pull out one zipper bag a day and everyone’s clothing is ready for the day.  Also, if we are taking a car trip that has multiple nights on the road, it is much easier to bring one or two suitcases into a hotel rather than every suitcase.  All I need is to bring one suitcase with the clothes for the next day and one suitcase containing our toiletries and pajamas.  This system of packing may take a few minutes extra time before-hand, but it helps keep everything neat and organize,and there is no more sifting through suitcases trying to find outfits.

Traveling, Car vs. Plane

This time last year my family was less than a week away from our big trip to Disney World where my husband ran the Walt Disney World marathon.  We had a countdown going for many months before our trip, and all were excited.  Leading up to our trip, since my husband was working and the kids were way too young to help, the majority of the packing was up to me.

I tend to be a planner when it comes to preparing for trips.  I like to have lists going several weeks in advance and don’t like to wait until the last minute to have things packed.  This particular trip was by car, which I actually prefer.  While air travel is faster, it is much more frustrating.  Car seats have to be hauled from the parking lot to the baggage check-in, the number of bags you are able to check, and able to carry, is limited, not to mention getting 4 small children through crowded airport security.  There’s always one child who decides she doesn’t want to carry her own carry-on that she insisted on packing, and I live in constant stress and fear of disturbing fellow passengers on the flight.  Car travel, on the other hand is much less stressful for me.  It may take longer, but I am not so limited in what I can pack, it is easier to bring our own food, and I feel much more relaxed.

So getting back to our Disney trip, this time last year it was less than a week until our trip and I was making lists and planning like crazy.  Next time….packing!

St. Margaret the Barefooted

I just learned about this awesome saint – St. Margaret the Barefooted.  In light of the title of this blog, she may be a new favorite!