Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 26)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 144)

1) I started teaching CCD (religious education) last week. I'm teaching the pre-k/kindergarten class. The little kids are very cute, but I'm realizing that teaching the wee ones is very different from teaching middle/high school. I mean, I knew (intellectually) that teaching them would be a whole new world, but actually having them in a classroom really hit home that fact. I think what I'll have to do is create the most simplistic lesson plan I can think of, then make the most simplistic lesson plan from that lesson plan that I can. Perhaps we'll watch a little Veggie Tales next week :)

2) Joseph rolled over for the first time this week! I had him down for some tummy time on Tuesday and he turned his head to the side then slowly but surely work his little legs and hips over...and he rolled!! I'm so proud of him! Will tried to get him to roll again when he got home, but was unsuccessful :( We'll have to work on the whole rolling thing so Will can see it, too :)

3) No words can describe this kind of cuteness. 

4) I have no idea what to do with all of Joseph's little momentos. I want to save all the cards he's received, our hospital bands, etc but I can't decide how to store them. So right now they're sitting in various piles throughout the house. I want to put them all in one place so they're organized and not cluttering up the place. I think I might just get a plastic bin to put everything in...or maybe a cute box. But, I want whatever I do for him to be something I can follow through with with any more kids we have. So, something simple seems like it would be best.

5) Last week lettuce/salad was on sale ($1/bag!), so I bought a bunch of it. Needless to say, I've been eating a lot of salads this week. I'm surprised both by how filling and unfilling salads are. Does that make any sense? I guess what I mean is that I expect them not to satisfy me at all, but they satisfy me more than I expect. So, they're more filling than anticipated, but still not filling enough for a full meal (or maybe it's just me thinking they're not filling enough).

6) With the new season on Extreme Couponing starting this week my interest in couponing has returned - yet again. I feel like this is something I should take the time to learn for the future (you know, when we have a bunch of kids to feed and not much money to feed them with). I know it's going to take some time to learn, so I figure if I start now then maybe I'll be fairly proficient at it in a year or two. I think I'll start with staples we use regularly - pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, potato chips and juice (and maybe a few others). We don't have an extra freezer yet, so I'll hold off on stockpiling the frozen goods for now :) If you know anything about couponing and would like to offer some tips I'd be happy to hear them. I only get one newspaper a week with coupons, but am thinking about ordering the Sunday paper for coupons as well. Would it be worth the money?

7) Joseph is learning how to read at the tender age of 2 1/2 months. His first book? The Bible, of course  - well, the kids version anyway :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Amateur Housewife

Hello, Betsy's readers. My name is Meghan. I have two daughters, M, 15 months, and V, due Thanksgiving week, and a wonderful husband who recently accepted a one-year clerkship for a judge in Houston, TX. As of two weeks ago, like Betsy, I am also an amateur homemaker! I suppose I was a homemaker before too but now my only work is homemaking so it's "for real" and I'm feeling excited and a bit anxious.

My husband and I made this decision because we saw the many benefits, some monetary but mostly non-monetary, that come from a family member putting substantial, thoughtful, "professional" (in a sense) time and effort into how the household runs. I feel blessed that Jon sees the value of this work. I feel blessed that he is able to provide monetarily for our needs and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to devote my full time and attention to our family. I feel unsure about my ability to do this well.

I was raised to appreciate the many opportunities women have in the workforce today and it was encouraged to strive for success in a career of my choosing. I really do appreciate the many opportunities women have now. I appreciate my education, the ability to provide monetarily for my family, and the ability to contribute to society as part of the workforce.

Truth be told, I feel a bit out of my element in the choice to work in the home. I have a LOT to learn about homemaking. I am not particularly talented at cooking, cleaning, shopping, financial planning - many (any?) of the frequent tasks of a homemaker. Even with these deficits, I think my best possible contribution to society right now is through homemaking. In addition to this objective good, I feel like I've repressed an inner longing for this sort of work for many years. At various times in my life I tried to focus my attention on life skills over academic skills but was discouraged in these efforts. Now is the time and I'm looking forward to gaining in knowledge and skill for both myself and my family.

I asked Betsy if I could post occasionally because I would really appreciate insight, tips, and critical thoughts on various homemaking topics. I also struggle sometimes with laziness and procrastination and it would be very comforting to have people around who would give a loving correction where needed. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments. God bless.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Workout Routine?

     In an attempt to shed that pesky pregnancy weight that decided to stick around I've started thinking about how I can get in to some kind of workout routine. And the more I think about it the more I'm exhausted. Simply thinking about incorporating a workout routine into my schedule wears me out.
I have a hard enough time keeping up with basic household chores - laundry, dishes and dinner.    
     Nevermind all those other chores that need to get done around the house. I mean, thank goodness my mom cleaned our bathrooms when she and my dad first came to visit Joseph (when he was a week old) because I've only cleaned the bathrooms twice since then...eeks!
     The filing of papers is on the verge of happening. I did actually get all the papers into their proper piles (after several months of not filing the papers that came into this house there was quite a stack to be sorted through) now all I have to do is take them upstairs and file them away. That was actually one of my goals for the second half of last week and it has yet to happen because Joseph has been extra needy lately - you know, always wanting to be held, never wanting to sleep...
     I could go on about all the things that need to get done around here, but I won't bore you. The point is if I can't find time to do basic chores around the house how in the world am I supposed to find time to workout? I do take Joseph for walks - he loves to go on walks - but that isn't exactly working out.
And if I sweat at all I feel like I should take a shower right away which only adds to the amount of time I feel like I need to be able to block out in order to workout.
     Maybe I'm just making excuses. It's true that I never had any kind of strict workout routine before I got pregnant. But I did get out an exercise much more frequently. And it's also true that I generally hate working out. But I feel like I need to do something to get back into shape. Every time I do go for a walk I can tell that I'm noticeably less "in shape."
     Now, after reading this article I definitely feel like incorporating a few good workouts into my week is a necessity. Has anyone had success working a regular workout into their schedule with an infant in the house? If so, how did you do it? What did you do? I'm up for any and all suggestions.

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 25)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 144)

1) I took Joseph swimming last week. I thought it would be a fun 15-20 minutes. I was wrong. I was very, very wrong.
The second his feet hit the water he started screaming. But don't worry - Aunt Jeannette was there to make sure we got some pictures of this momentous occasion :)

2) Hopefully Joseph's attitude toward swimming will change for the better because I want to take a mother-baby swimming class this winter. My friend told me about it a few weeks ago. It's basically an aerobic/fitness class for moms where you use your baby as your "weight." I'm super excited about it, but if I get this reaction from Joseph every time we get in the pool I'm pretty sure I'll be wasting my money on the class.

3) Joseph has been sleeping in his crib for nearly a week now. The transition was made easier by the fact that he slept in a play pen the whole time we were in Texas, so I just switched him to the crib as soon as we came home. And I wasn't nearly as traumatized as I thought I was going to be. Not having him in our room isn't as nerve racking as I thought it was going to be.

4) I thought this picture was super cute...except for the fact that my son actually likes to watch TV and he's only 2 1/2 months old. Oh well, I guess sports are ok.
Watching football with daddy
5) Joseph had his 2 month appointment this week. He weighed in at 15lbs (90th percentile)!! And was 25.5 inches long (97th percentile). So much for my sweet, little baby *tear*.

6) Fall weather has definitely made its appearance, and I have mixed feelings about this. While I love fall weather I hate what it signifies is coming next: winter. I hate cold weather. I hate it much more than hot weather. The only redeeming quality of winter is snow. And even that I only want to see a couple times a year.

7) My favorite Facebook post of the week goes to my sister, Alyse. She captured my sentiments exactly when Facebook rolled out their latest edition of changes this week.
"I say, get over the facebook changes... they're gonna happen, you're gonna get used to them and everyone's gonna survive!"

8) This morning warrants and 8th quick take: There's nothing like starting your morning with an explosive poop diaper.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Heart My Family

Last week Joseph and I went to Texas to attend my grandmother's funeral. After many years of suffering from Alzheimer's she passed away. So, while our family was sad to say goodbye, we were happy to see  her relieved from her suffering.

Before leaving I was pretty nervous about flying with Joseph by myself. I think because our plans were last minute I didn't have time to mentally prepare myself, so I stressed a lot about how exactly I was going to get through the airport (because, you know, babies come with so. much. stuff.). Luckily, everything went smoothly.
Joseph's first plane ride!
I was grateful to run into so many people willing to help me out during our trip. I had several people offer to help me break down the stroller and car seat or help hold a bag or two while I dealt with Joseph. It was really nice. And it's not that I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own, but it was definitely easier with a little help.
Once we made it to Texas, Joseph was in baby heaven - he got to nurse any time he wanted, he got loved on, doted on and played with by all his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandpa - basically anything he wanted he soon as he wanted it.
Here are a few pictures from the week.
Joseph and cousin Clare
Joseph and I had a great time visiting with family, and Joseph got to meet his two aunts that he hadn't met yet plus a bunch of his great aunts, great uncles, second cousins and even a few third cousins (the children of my cousins - those are Joseph's third cousins, right?).
Joseph meets Aunt Dinora
Aunt Kristin, cousin Beth and baby Clare
Beth, Uncle Joe and Joseph
Grandma would have had a great time with us. We enjoyed telling stories about grandma and reminiscing about "the good 'ol days." I particularly enjoyed hearing my aunts and uncles tell all kinds of stories from their childhood.
Clare is checking Joseph out
Joseph meets Aunt Jeannette
Grandpa is so cozy to sleep on
I also enjoyed learning more about my grandparents and watching a beautiful video put together by my Aunt Kristin from my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. It was so sweet hearing their voices again and listening to them talk about their relationship. It was quite obvious how much they loved one another and their children. What a blessing to have such a large, loving family! 
Aunt Nancy, Aunt Margo, Alicia and Joseph
Joseph with Aunt Marie
Joseph with Aunt Beth
Alix and Clare
Abby and Joseph
Aunt Alyse, Joey and Joseph
(I think this is my favorite picture from the week)
I had a hard time not posting every. single. picture. that I took. I'm a little obsessed with my sweet Joseph and my awesome family. It was great seeing you all last week - I love you all!

I love you Grandma!

A Prayer for Grandma - "Sweet Alice"
God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.