Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yarn Along: Wingspan scarf



Finished my Wingspan scarf and I LOVE it!  The picture doesn't do justice to the colors.  They are vibrant and beautiful and this pattern is a lot of fun to work up and definitely easy.  A nice mindless sort of thing to do while relaxing in the evening.  I use Mini Mochi yarn...I think that is what it was called.  I am so terrible with knowing my yarns...and don't ask me the colorway.  No clue.

I am re-reading the Emily of New Moon series.  I just started Emily's Quest, the last book of the series.  So bittersweet as I love this story and so enjoy reading on I know the end is coming....and once again my dear friend Emily will move away until I pull her out again in a few years.  So hard with our beloved book characters..how they must come in and out of our lives *sigh*

For more yarn alongs check out Small Things

Monday, December 17, 2012

Feast of St. Lucy

Annabella dressed as St. Lucy.  Serving us a traditional St. Lucy braided bread.

I got the recipe from Catholic Cuisine and the flavor was great and it was easy to make, but I screwed up and it didn't rise...at all.  So you can imagine it was a bit dense and heavy and, well, GROSS!  I might actually try another because the cranberry orange flavor was great and I would imagine when made properly it is delicious.

The paper wreath for her head I got from here.  And she actually managed to not destroy it so we are going to save it for next year.



Thursday, December 06, 2012

Celebrating Advent

Obviously I am once again behind in posting.  First we all had colds being passed around, then I had a bit of a blog issue that I was able to resolve today...and of course just in time for the kids to be sick again.  *sigh*  But I did want to post what we are doing for Advent this year, (basically the same as last year) if for no other reason than for me to remember!!

 I will start with Martinmas even though it was well before Advent...we made these lanterns.  Just quickly: the kids used water colors on a piece of large paper.  I then rolled them into a cylinder, cut some stars into it, and added a handle.

 Our Jesse Tree is a bit of a comedy of errors this year.  I found these new ornaments and fixed them all up and then realized they were missing several days worth.  Claudio made the executive decision to just use them anyway because we no doubt will end up missing a few days anyway.  So I won't bother telling you where I found these ornaments because I don't recommend their use!!  The tree is just some branches we dug up in a large vase filled with gravel. 

The advent calendar is put together by my stepmother each year. She has 8 grandchildren in total and sets up a calendar for each one of them!!  Our calendar here has a scripture reading behind each door and then each kid has a canister with a treat for each day until Christmas!

some of the ornaments lovingly colored by moi...and look at that little Annabella face *squish*

Our nativity scene had to be scaled back this year...if I was a savvy, conscientious blogger I would link back to nativity scenes from years gone by.....Do yourself a favor and go back to Decembers of yore and check them out.

Anyway, smaller this year since we are still having house showings and all that....and so a Nativity scene that takes up half the dining room probably wouldn't be a good selling feature...(interestingly the last couple that came to see our house was a homeschooling family with 5 children...so probably she understood LOL)

 I think it still came out looking good and it is wonderful to see the kids get more and more involved and excited about all of these things! 


Our Advent Wreath. I HIGHLY recommend using these big fat candles rather than tapers!  They just burn so much better and last so much longer.  I will never go back!



St. Nicholas Day, today, finally....was somewhat haphazardly put together.  I had a sorta plan for what I was going to do for the kids, but it didn't work out and at the last minute Cla decided he would try his hand at painting some peg dolls for them!


They came out SOO cute!!  And it was just the right thing..

St. Nicholas, St. Therese, and St. Kateri
 We got this craft idea from The St. Nicholas Center which is a great resource for St. Nicholas info and ideas!!

Ok...so I am at least caught up with our domestic church type stuff!  Pheww!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Poems and Progress

Ben has his second poem memorized for MODG Kindergarten program. I love learning these poems with him and they are really so lovely and sweet. And he is getting much more willing to recite for me. He will not recite the poems for anyone else. He tells Grandma that they are secret LOL...so that is why I record them.


He continues to do really well with school.  He is constantly scribbling and doodling notes and pictures on any paper he can find.  I found the below little note by my computer the other day on a piece of scrap paper.  I thought it was hilarious that he has picked up on all the politics chit chat around lately!!


I also find it interesting that when just writing on his own he sees no reason why letters in a word need to be consecutive!  Like how Romney is written over two lines.  This one is still pretty obvious what he is saying but often the letters will be scattered all over and I will have to untangle them to figure out what he wrote.
 
he often asks me to take a picture of him in action!
 He is about 3/4th through the first Little Angel Reader and workbook and has improved so much with reading comprehension and sequence....an area he struggled a little bit in when we started.

 Math is going great.  He is working on addition and telling time in his math book.

We definitely made the right decision to drop the religion recommendations from MODG.  We are reading the Catholic Treasure Box Books and Leading The Little Ones To Mary and he (and Anna!) seem to have a sudden awareness and new understanding for the supernatural AND their behavior.  Anna particularly loves the stories in the Treasure Box books about Little Therese.  And I was really happy to see that this Sunday when Fr. Woodrow mentioned Therese in his homily that Anna was listening and commented to Claudio about the little rose necklace I let her wear as a reminder of Little Therese.

watching Hurricane Sandy


Monday, October 22, 2012

9 Months for Buggy





Yes yes yes everyone's favorite little Buggy recently turned 9M.  It is going too fast!!  Even faster than usual!!

These pics of her on her dad's back are the very few instances of her NOT in motion!!  She is by far my busiest baby.  Practically impossible to dress or change her diaper.  You can't turn your back on her for a minute.  Just a few days ago she started using a little walker to to take her first tentative steps and she is QUITE pleased with herself.

She is adored by Ben and Anna.  She is a super snuggly little baby.  She had her well check and has been gaining really well.  She gained a pound since her 6M check and was 15lbs and 27inches long.  So she moved up a percentile which is great.  She loves to eat....whether being fed or feeding herself.  Developmentally she is leading the pack  ;)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Removing Anna's Tube - Not for the Queasy

Today is the two year anniversary of Anna's surgery to correct her Annular Pancreas. I won't wax nostalgic or sentimental. Suffice it to say she has come a very long way. Thursday she had a weight check and she had gained almost an entire pound since her last check a month or so ago. For the first time in her life she has not only maintained her own weight, but gained some. We had put off taking out her tube earlier this Fall because we thought she was teetering a bit, but after this great weight gain and the realization that something truly catastrophic, having nothing to do with why she originally needed the feeding tube, would have to happen for us to go back to using her tube for feeds. We assume she will have ups and downs with her weight, but they should be minor. So, what sign were we waiting for? We decided to just go for it. Let's celebrate this two year anniversary by removing the last reminder of all that Anna has gone through. :)

assembling the supplies...I swear I could open my own medical supply store.

one last pic with the tube in

ok two last pictures

removing the water from the internal balloon

I spared you from a picture of actually removing the tube!  Even I looked away.  LOL  All dressed in case it gets a little leaky.

Anna smiling to show you that it didn't hurt at all.

the kids had a great time inflating and deflating the balloon...its the small things.
So it should only take a day or two for the hole to completely close.  There is a chance that it will not close completely on its own.  If that is the case she may need a small surgical procedure to close it.  We should know in about two weeks if that is the case.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn Along - Finished Cap Sleeved Top




Loved knitting up this little top and it knit up really fast.  A few changes and a few regrets: If I knit one up again (and I think I will) I will actually follow the needle change recommendations.  I knit the whole thing on 8s because I was paranoid it would come out too tight.  But it is too big on top (yoke, sleeves, arm holes) and now I see why she says to start on 6s and switch to 8s.  Live and learn.  Also I added 4 or 5 rows of ribbing at the bottom to keep it from rolling up....this I would do again.  But Anna actually seems to like it and she has become very picky about her clothes...so that is good news!

Next I play on starting the wingspan scarf.  I bought my yarn and needles last night.  Very excited to make another knit for myself.

I am still reading Emily of New Moon.  Only about half way through.  I have been so tired at bedtime I barely get a page or two in before I am ready to turn out the lights.

For more yarn alongs check out Small Things.

I am still

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Heartbreak, Disappointment, and Square One


We received some pretty disappointing and heartbreaking news over the weekend.

The lady who was under contract to buy our house here in NJ, despite having a pre-qualification, was unable to get her mortgage.  So our deal fell through and obviously we have lost our deal with our House of Dreams in PA.

So, now instead of finishing up my last bits of packing for a move at the end of the month I am putting things back in some semblence of organization to prepare for an open house this coming weekend and more house showings to come.

The kids don't totally get what is going on, but they did know we were supposed to move into our "Big House" around Halloween....and now we aren't.


So we are back to square one....trying to sell our house.


Praying for our house to sell quickly again....


Praying it sells quicker then the house in PA that is also going back on the market...


So that it is still there for us when we are ready...


I ask you to please remember us in prayer for these intentions.


Yarn Along - The Holy Crow it is About Time You Finished Your Shalom Edition!!

Thought it was about time to take part in the Yarn Along again.  After finishing a Shalom, hating it, ripping the entire thing out, and starting it again I have FINALLY finished and I am so much happier with it this time.  Sized just right.  I used Chunky Vintage yarn.  Obviously I went with three buttons and I had to do some resizing to make it into an XL size.  It came out super cozy...now we just need cozy weather so I can wear it!!

I am about three rounds into a girl's cap sleeved spring shirt.  Hope to make one for Anna and one for Beatrice.

As for reading I am re-reading Emily of New Moon.  I had been reading a bunch of books about the education system, about the war on our boys, about culture, but with current stresses in my life I was finding it all too depressing before bed so I decided to pick up an old favorite and I have been loving it all over again.

For more Yarn Alongs head over to Ginny's wonderful blog.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Egg Shmegg


Ben and donuts have always had a love affair, but when he was diagnosed with an egg allergy a few years ago the love affair came to a screeching hault.

A month or so ago we got the go ahead from his allergist to schedule a food challenge.  A food challenge is done at the hospital (in this case at CHOP).  And basically you go in and they give the child increasing amounts of the allergic food and see if the child reacts.  If the child reacts they are still allergic and if they don't react they are no longer allergic.

Ben passed without a hitch.  Not even a sneeze.  So Ben is now food allergy FREE!!!!!  Amazing!  So Cla ran out this morning for celebratory donuts.  And Ben loved it as if they had never been parted!

Anna, on the other hand, took a few sprinkles off her donut and one tiny nibble before she decided she was done.  I will never understand that girl's eating preferences.  Carrot?  Absolutely!!  Donut?  No thanks.  In a non-bizarro world this would be fantastic, but in the world of Failure To Thrive it is MADDENING!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Feeding School Drop Out....

 So, I just realized today that it is the one year anniversary of Anna starting the CHOP Day Hospital Feeding Therapy Program.

As well as she did during therapy several factors have lead us to be Feeding School drop outs!  A few major factors being our new insurance doesn't cover Behavioral Health Services at CHOP, I was having some major disagreements with the feeding team at follow ups in terms of the direction of Anna's care, and doing separate "bite" sessions with Anna when I had a new baby, a house on the market, and a 4yr old, and, and, and, and seemed just this side of impossible.

 So what does that mean for Anna and her eating??  I really don't know.  We have to struggle for every bite basically.  She is just sort of, usually, hanging on by a thread in terms of maintaining her weight WITHOUT tube feeds (something she couldn't do before therapy).  I think her GI put it best a few months ago when he pointed out how very far she has come in the two years he had been seeing her and that this will likely always be a struggle for her, but that we ALL have shortcomings that we need to compensate for and with age and maturity she will learn to deal with it.  Her tube remains in for now.  She would likely be one stomach bug away from tube feedings, but then again she has ways of surprising us!  Meanwhile she is a full of life 3yr old!


 We are just about to start our 4th week of school.  Ben is doing great and if Anna was a little less of a loose canon things would REALLY be going smoothly.  She is a big distraction.  Insisting on doing school with us, but not wanting to do anything planned.  I am torn between laying down the law and making her do that crafts and little alphabet activities I prepare for her and just letting her flit about as she will.  If she is going to be so difficult why should I waste time planning for it?? LOL


The only area Ben has struggled with in school is Religion.  Basically the curriculum calls for me to read  him sections of the Golden Children's Bible and then the next day he is to retell me the story and I write it out and then he illustrates it.  He had such a hard time with the recall part of this.  I am not sure if the subject matter was boring, the language/vocab too advanced, the concept itself too much for a 4yr old or what.  So we just dropped the religion and instead we are just focusing on Catholic Treasure Box stories/activities and saint stories and picture books etc.  So far this is much better.  We will either revisit it in the summer as an extra or just skip it and that is that.

Things are moving ahead with our move. The house is a disaster as things get pulled out to be packed and shuffled around and nothing can really be put AWAY. There are boxes everywhere. Stacked towers. We have just over a month until closing and the amount that needs to get done is mind boggling. I just want it to get done and for us to own our new house and for this house to belong to its new family and that is that.