Thursday, August 30, 2012


Is it me or are political elections really just beauty contests with lot of charisma?

Little Women

I love the 1949 version of Little Women. It's a beautiful film with wonderful actors and stunning costumes. Every time I watch it I'm glued to the screen taking in all the details of the way the clothing is constructed. I love the pinafores and shawls. I love the braided trim and bobbles. I love the fit of their clothing.

I love how Jo is a tomboy not wanting to grow up and fall in love. I love how it is so completely devoid of Feminism.

I watched the newer Little Women with Christian Bale and was so disappointed in how they rewrote the story, adding in modern concepts and fashion ideas. I can barely stand to watch it anymore.

The old 1949 version of the film is charming with A-list actors. You have June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, and Margaret O'Brien. I love the lines in there, "that dreadful boy. He waved back" or "He's doing awful things to her, and Meg likes it!"

If you've never had the chance to watch this film, I highly recommend it as light and simple entertainment, lacking the heavy handed messaging in modern film.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mondays of Gratitude

The baptism is over and our after party BBQ was quite successful. Everyone pitched in, brought food and drinks to share and had a good time. Although I wasn't in there, the playroom was full of children and all were enjoying the toys. I think we had seven little children that were three and under and three older children (8, 10, and 12).

Despite having toys scattered all over the house after the party, it only took me ten minutes to get everything put back.

The best part was that all the food was packed up and put away and my kitchen was cleaned by my mom so I didn't have to do it. I feel so spoiled.

This week my husband is going into work two hours later than usual to take his mandatory furlough of the month. Our oldest is going to be thrilled since he never sees his daddy but for half an hour at night and on the weekends.

We are also preparing for a trip to Bodega Bay. We leave on Friday and my parents have generously offered for us to borrow their newly bought van. It will be so nice to not have to try and fit everything into the trunk of my sedan. I don't think we'd be able to fit everything we need and a cooler of food to boot.

A few more days with much packing and we will be on the coast. I am very much looking forward to seeing one of God's great glories, the ocean.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Baptism Outfit

Today was the baptism of our baby. We wanted him baptized sooner but our parish only does baptisms every other month, so we had to wait.

I was going to use the outfit we had our toddler baptized in but our baby is so big he didn't fit. I briefly thought about buying an outfit but ever $35 seemed like too much. I eventually opted to make my own from a McCall's pattern I bought before I ever got married and some saved muslin fabric.

After much huffing and puffing over pattern directions and sewing I found I had to re-buy the pattern as I had accidentally thrown away two pattern pieces I needed. Back to the store I went and I paid $10 for the pattern. I couldn't even use a coupon as it was excluded in the limitation section. Add to that that it's been at least 12 years since I paid more than a few dollars for a pattern, it made me feel cheated. (By the way, if you go to Joanns around halloween time you can find all their patterns but Vogue for a $1 each, Vogue is about $4 each)

After several days I finally finished the outfit and it turned our adorable. I learned how to apply snaps for the first time (the tool isn't very good though) and I was successful with making pin tucks.

Praise be to God for our ability to have our son baptized. I always worry about SIDS the most before we can have the child baptized. Now I can breathe a little sigh of relief.

I love these pictures I took:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mondays of Gratitude

I'm so excited this week has finally arrived. This Saturday we are having our baby baptized. We wanted to do it sooner but our church only does them every other month and my brother, who will be the Godfather, wasn't available to go to the classes in June. So, here we are in August and our baby will be brought into the community of the Catholic Faith.

My parents will also be returning home from their vacation. I know they've been having a great time but I miss them and the whole day last Thursday when I went to their house our oldest kept asking, "Papa?"

I'm doing my best to get the house ordered in time for the bbq we're having after the baptism is over. I've got the love seat moved to the front room where we have a playroom for our boys. I know my husband isn't going to be too thrilled about me doing that but I don't know that he realizes how light and easy it is. I think he's concerned I'll hurt myself.

I am so thankful we have access to fresh food when we need it. Lately our fridge has looked so bare but then I realized that was because we have a distinct lack of processed foods cluttering up our pantry and fridge. Fresh food doesn't last for months. It won't even last weeks in most cases.

I am so thankful for air conditioning and fans. It's been hot and I am really looking forward to fall. I love those days when I can open the windows to air the house out and not have to close them because of the heat.

I got a laugh from our baby today. I can't wait to hear more.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Weary days

Life is very busy. I feel like I'm directing everything from the couch and getting nothing accomplished. I know this is supposed to be a bonding time with my new baby and to not let the opportunity of playing with my toddler pass me by as he gets so much older so much faster. I feel as though I am doing neither. My house is somewhat clean, somewhat organized, with little food to eat or make. Laundry is always caught up (thanks to cloth diapering), but nothing else is. I feel both overwhelmed with all the work to do and completely lazy. I think I'm driving myself nuts.

My poor toddler faces my worn out patience as we're in the last hour before my husband returns home. I feel like I'm constantly telling him not to do something and I have little energy to redirect him into finding something else to do. God, please grant me the grace to be kind and patient to my children even when I'm tired.

I miss my mom and dad. They've been fantastic these past few weeks helping out and helping me heal. I realize just how hard it is when they leave and take a vacation. I envy them as they are traveling along the Oregon and California coast with temps in the 60s. Ahh, that sounds so nice (we've had nearly two weeks over 100 now).

Today I visited with neighbors and my nana who is lonely. And then I broke my toe. On the corner of the couch. And I had to drive a stick shift home. It hurts. How do you get a toddler to not stand on your hurt foot? Ouch.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mondays of Gratitude

Boy! This past week was busy. As promised here is my second weekly post on gratitude.

1. I am grateful for the time I spent with my parents. We alternated visiting each other and so I was able to go to their house Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It was so relaxing.

2. My mom is awesome. She recorded the olympics for me and I was able to watch all of the recordings when I visited. I still love watching gymnastics. My mom did the same for me back in 1996 when I was living far away. It was so nice to get a care package and then on top of that the recording of Keri Strugg's awesome achievement.

3. Seeing my dad have such a good time for his birthday. The whole neighborhood showed up.

4. For air-conditioning! Every day last week was over 100. Looks like this week will be too.

5. For husbands who let you turn the thermostat down in a heat wave just so you can sleep better.

6. For my toddler who got a new tooth and said, "pooh" when he pointed to his pooh bear.

7. For my baby who has done such a great job at sleeping at night, only waking once to eat and get a diaper change.

8. For good friends who watch our toddler while we go to mass. We were bringing him with us but around 15 months he became a whirl wind of climbing, running, crawling, screaming and enthusiasm for life. Masses were split between us but now we can go together at least every other week.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I've been trying out various recipes that are homemade versions of what you can buy at the store. Sometimes it's to save money and other times it's to avoid allergies. Here are some of my findings:

Homemade laundry soap

When we first got cloth diapers I knew I could spend extra on laundry soap or make my own. I wanted to make a dry powder version so I hunted around on the internet and found a suitable recipe. I can say that after using it for almost two years now that it is an easy success. Here's the recipe:

1 bar of hard soap (I use Kirk's Castile)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of washing soda

Grate the hard soap as finely as you can and mix together with borax and washing soda, getting rid of any lumps. 1 tablespoon of your detergent is all that is needed to wash a full load of laundry.

Sometimes I throw in a 1/2 Downey ball of white vinegar to my laundry. It helps to dissolve the soap and it naturally acts as a fabric softener. Your clothes may have a vinegar smell to them but that will dissipate upon drying.

Homemade toothpaste

I've been frustrated with toothpaste. It seems like such a money making business. In the past I've had toothpaste that made my teeth hurt and burned my tongue (whitening), and were not great for when stress made canker sores emerge. They have a bunch of chemicals in them and lots of sweeteners. I also question the use of fluoride as it has some serious health side effects and is not safe for children under the age of six (this includes fluoridated water). So, in June I bucked up the courage to make my own. It's not bad, just a little salty tasting and I got great results at my dentist last week. When they asked about how I was going to remineralize my teeth without fluoride I told them I was drinking bone broth (lots of bioavailable calcium and minerals).

1 part baking soda
1 part coconut oil
a dash of salt
a splash of peppermint extract

Mix and put in a squeezable tube or store in an airtight container.

I found that in the heat the coconut oil liquifies and separates and you may have to shake up your toothpaste. The baking soda cleans and whitens your teeth, the coconut oil is antibacterial and doesn't go rancid for years (plus it puts a nice sealer coat on your teeth to keep bacteria away), and the salt is good for your gums. I give this recipe a big thumbs up. I love it.

Homemade shampoo

I really liked the idea of homemade shampoo. I originally thought it would be a great way to get away from all the chemicals and such. Unfortunately, after giving it a try for over a month I didn't like the outcome of my hair. My hair was greasy, staticy, and it tangled. I tried to thicken the shampoo with starch but the starch would only float around as big flakes in my bottle. The shampoo is mostly water with a little baking soda.

1 cup of hot water
1 tbs of baking soda

Mix until soda dissolves. Shake contents before use. Leave in hair for two minutes before rinsing.

I think this would be a great idea for camping since it's biodegradable. I wouldn't pre-mix it with water but just sprinkle it in my hair to soak up any oils before rinsing it out.

Homemade Conditioner

Apple cider vinegar is a good conditioner. I don't know that I was using enough (I used a squirt bottle) or maybe I was rinsing it out too much. I think for best results you're supposed to just leave it in your hair to dry without rinsing. I know that white vinegar as a fabric softener works great, so I think it was user error on my part. By the end of the month my hair had a lot of static in it and it was more challenging to get the tangles out.

Again, I think this might be a great idea for camping.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Mom

I love my mom.

Yesterday, she came to my house and helped me out, watching our oldest and holding the baby.

My mom moved some of the best looking rocks from the back yard to the front where they bordered the grass. It looks so much nicer, even my husband noticed right away.

She talked to our toddler about using the potty and running him back and forth to the bathroom, and then we had our first success. Our toddler made it in his potty. I gave him a carob chip as a reward and as soon as he was cleaned up he was asking for more.

Today I'm heading to her house where I'll go through all the gymnastic Olympic coverage she recorded for me. I need to erase as much as possible before the DVR starts dumping her favorite saved shows. My mom recorded the Olympics for me back in 1996 when I was away in Arizona. I got a care package from her and I became popular for a whole day as we were starving for real news. That was the year Keri Strugg broke her ankle on the vault and won gold for the US team. I still have that tape.

Mom's are wonderful. So helpful, kind, caring, full of good advice, and always lending a hand. I miss her when she's not around.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mondays of Gratitude

When you talk to others, many say that Mondays are the worst day of the week. I want my Mondays to be days where I look forward to the rest of my week so I'm going to try and post something every Monday for those things I'm grateful for.


1. My mother coming to help me out with being home alone. Since I just had an appendectomy on top of a c-section, it's been difficult trying to do things around the house.

2. Getting to go to my parent's home three days this week. I love visiting my parents. They still live in the home I grew up in since I was seven. My oldest boy gets to chase the dog around, pick flowers, go for walks with Papa, and play with all the model airplanes. My baby will be cuddled and held by Grammie and Papa. A neighbor might drop by to say hello. The food is always wonderful and lovingly made.

3. My dad will be 63 on Saturday. We're going to have a BBQ for him at his house on Friday. He's been a wonderful dad giving us useful advice, helping with cars, and being there when we are in need. He's never been one to just leave someone else to all the hard work. He always lends a hand. I love my dad.

4. For a little boy who learned to say, "sorry" when he hit his helpless newborn baby brother.

5. For a two month old baby who smiles at me when I look at him and he starts "goo"-ing aloud in glee, kicking his feet and waving his fists.

6. For little boys who take naps and sleep at night.

7. For a husband who tries so hard to finish the work on the house so it feels nice to live there. He spent all weekend practicing staining cabinets from the garage so he could get it perfect when doing the ones inside.

8. For a church with a cry room so I can nurse my baby around other parents and listen to mass without getting awkward stares.

9. For yummy bacon we got from our local butcher. So good!

10. And lastly, for air conditioning on the days that will be over 100.