Friday, February 19, 2016

{p,h,f,r} The Project (Almost) Finishing Edition


Can I just say that I really love this link-up?  Whenever I grab my camera and start walking around my house looking for bits of beauty and contentment to capture my mood is almost automatically lifted regardless of where it started.

When Chris went to the store for emergency supplies last weekend I asked him to pick up some flowers because, though I had meant to get some myself when I had previously gone, I was forced to evacuate the commissary in a hurry and bypassed the flower section in order to save my sanity and potentially the lives of our children.  When he came home with these beauties he said he was embarrassed to buy them because he thought people were assuming that he was getting me last minute grocery store flowers for Valentine's Day.  Um, I think the last time I received non-grocery store flowers from my husband he was deployed and therefore forced to order through a florist.

He hasn't been deployed since 2007.


Aside from Christmas decorations I have not had this mantle "decorated" since we moved into this house over a year ago.  I just had this kind of awkward piece of salvage on the wall that made sense when we had the television on the mantle but didn't once we moved it with a mirror propped up in front.  The husband refuses to move the salvage because we have plaster walls and he doesn't want to deal with the aftermath.   And I'm not going to do it myself because that's clearly man's work :)

Anyway, I had sudden inspiration last weekend to finally de-sad-ify my mantle and I think I'm loving it.  I pulled our radio from the kitchen which wasn't getting any use because the kitchen is tiny and the radio is loud and therefore too much for my frazzled nerves while I cook.  Of course the radio is tiny so I needed something big to balance it and the biggest thing we have is our monstrous dictionary.  Chris saved this beauty from a military purge at his last office which is technically frowned upon but they were going to throw it in a dumpster!  I mean what would you have done?

Then I just pulled some other books from our shelves to fill out the other side and added one of my grandmother's iron stone pitchers for good measure.

Well that's not completely true, I actually stood in front our bookshelves for an absurdly long time trying to decide which books to use.  What did I want my literary mantle to say about our family?  I mean I didn't want to seem like I was trying too hard to look well-read, so it couldn't be anything too deep.  On the other hand I didn't want to be lame and have people think I only buy books to use as decorations, so I needed to have actually read them.  Should they be Catholic so everyone would know how holy we are?  Should they be popular so everyone will know how hip and up to date I am in my reading selections?  Could I ever convince anyone that I am hip and up to date anyhow?  Probably not.

What does your mantle say about you?  I think mine might say that I overthink things.........


Aside from finally decorating our mantle, and by decorating I guess I mean tastefully rearranging things we already own, I also finally finished quilting my grandmother's quilt top.  When I first taught myself to quilt using internet directions I remember reading that you should use rust proof pins if you pin your quilt together and I thought, who leaves a quilt sitting around unfinished long enough for its pins to rust?    Now I see.  Sometimes these things take well over a year.  Sometimes you don't want to sit with a queen sized quilt on your lap all summer while you plug away at it so you cross stitch something instead.  Sometimes you eat your naive words, or in this case thoughts, while your unfinished project laughs at you from the living room side table where it took up permanent residence.

Well, no more.

I just need to make the binding and I can finish up this project that never ends and move on to baby quilt making.  Well, hopefully.  Because of my history, my doctor did offer me the super mega genetic testing package that tells you your baby's gender at ten weeks which I am very tempted to do.  Would it be unethical to have the military pay for a test and then tell them afterwards that I don't actually want to know the results, just the sex of my baby thanks?  I'm not sure that I'd be bold enough to start working on a baby quilt that early but it would be nice to know anyway.  


I also finished another, much less exciting project last weekend, which was hand scrubbing our living room rug only to have the dog run through the very next day with muddy paws.  Three times.  Back and forth.  I might have cried.

This rug choice was just the worst.  I'm not sure how I convinced myself that something with a WHITE STRIPE would ever work out in our living room, but everyone on the internet said these Dash and Albert cotton rugs were so easy to clean, and so amazing in every way, and you could even use them as stair runners, and they did look so good in the pictures.  To be fair, the rug did look very cute in our room before it looked dingy.  And I'm sure a smallish cotton rug would be easy to clean if it could fit in the washing machine.  A giant rug though, not so much.  Even the Stanley Steamer people couldn't clean it because it just stuck to their machines.  They took it back to their bosses and they still couldn't clean it.  They even suggested I take it to their competitors, the fancy rug cleaners who I had also gotten price quotes from, which were scarily close to the actual price of the rug.  Um no.

I checked my favorite homemaking book for tips and there was literally no advice on cleaning a cotton rug.  I suppose because the author wouldn't have dreamed anyone would ever be so silly as to buy one.  I ended up cleaning it with a scrub brush and a bowl of soapy water and it still didn't look amazing.  Better, but not amazing.  And looks awful.  Really, really awful.

So in conclusion, don't buy a super cute gigantic cotton rug if you have a dog, or children, or live anywhere where something other than dry sand might ever come into contact with it.  And also don't believe everything the internet says, no matter how much you want it to be true :)  

And as always, make sure you check out even more captured contentment over at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why I Won't Be Fasting This Lent

or alternately, Take That Pregnancy Test Out of Your Mouth!

Squint real hard* and you will notice a definite second line there which was confirmed by much cheaper and apparently more reliable tests of the dollar variety.  And yes, Margaret did decide to gnaw on this beauty while I attempted to photograph it in order to get a second opinion on whether the line was there or if I was hallucinating.  And no, I did not take a picture of that because, gross.  Super gross.  
Normally I don't find out I'm pregnant this early on but I decided to go ahead and take a test a couple of weeks ago because I had a dentist appointment and I knew they would ask and I really dislike being that woman who always gives the Catholic Shrug and replies, "I don't know?  Maybe? I mean you never know, right?" [insert awkward look here].  PS that awkward look belongs to both me and whomever just asked me about the state of my womb.  Awkwardness all around.  Well anyway, the test was negative so I said "no," and also, "bring on the radiation!"


I guess the CDC should add getting x-rays to the list of things we women of childbearing age should never ever do unless we're contracepting.  There was also wine involved in my post-negative-pregnancy-test-pity-party, sorry CDC.

Well, taking an early pregnancy test led to a compulsion to keep testing until I knew for sure I wasn't actually pregnant.  So last weekend I took another test and it was positive and then I made my darling husband buy me more tests so I could check again, and I still have more so I can check again and again if I want.

So, that's our big news.  I'm pregnant again and due late September and feeling all the feelings you feel when you've just lost a little one and you find yourself with another one on the way.  And I'm oversharing with the internet because I could really use your prayers.  They make such a difference.  They truly do.


Baby Katharine Louise and Baby Frances Cabrini pray for us.

*I've been ever so sweetly informed that I am unable to correctly read a pregnancy test and you don't in fact need to squint at all to see that this test is positive.  In my defense EPT has made a simple thing like seeing the control line and then the test line absurdly complicated by adding a third, completely unnecessary, and apparently non functioning line to make a super fun plus sign whose main purpose in life is to confuse already stressed out women.  Why EPT?  Why?  If you insist on a plus sign being your gimmick mightn't you at least make sure both lines of the plus sign react in the same way?   A nice, bright, all-one-shade-of-blue, plus sign.  Is that too much to ask?  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On Turning Three and Rolling to the Rescue

John John turned three today and he was pretty excited.

Partly because he's obviously a big boy now, but mostly because there was a Rescue Bot explosion in our house.  And what three year old doesn't enjoy an explosion of his favorite plastic monstrosity?  I kid, I kid.  Kind of ;)

Chris stayed home for breakfast and we gave John his gifts in the morning so he would have all day to play with them.  I spent the last couple of weeks crafting him a cardboard Rescue Bots fire station and making peg dolls of all the human characters.  They were a pretty big hit.  And since he's the reigning 'cutest grandchild/nephew in the history of grandchildren/nephews' the actual Rescue Bots also came pouring in.  Because that's what he needs.  More Rescue Bots.  No one can resist his adorable smile and sweet requests for just one more bot.

Well I can, but I'm his hard-hearted mother so I suppose I don't count.

After all the presents were unwrapped and daddy was sent off to work, we had some of John's friends over for two separate playdates that involved lots of Rescue Bots and also chocolate chip cookies.  Once Chris came home again we had the obligatory cake and special birthday dinner.  John requested fish sticks and a chocolate cake with blue sprinkles and a Rescue Bot on top.  Fancy.

The icing was not my best work.  Note to self:  don't attempt to make complicated icing while simultaneously monitoring multiple three year olds fighting over who gets to land which Rescue Bot where.   John didn't notice.  A frosting connoisseur he is not.

He had major second thoughts after he decided this was the bot he wanted to put on his cake but I wouldn't let him switch and frosting-ify more toys.  He got over it.  And licked his treasure clean once it was reclaimed.

Happy Birthday little man!  You are the sweetest, cutest, best hug giver in the family--and don't you know it :)  Roll to the rescue honey.  Roll to the rescue.

Monday, February 1, 2016

On Snow Days and Melted Dreams

You might not have heard, but we had a wee bit of snow here recently so naturally I took a ridiculous amount of pictures to document the fun of it all and have lovingly decided to share entirely too many of them with you now.  I hope you like photos of my children and/or winter weather frolicking.  


There was quite a bit of shoveling, and David was surprisingly helpful in the digging out process.  Henry, on the other hand, well Henry hates to be cold and also to do work of any sort so he was, shall we say, less than helpful.

The government totally shut down so Chris was home for everything, unfortunately the storm didn't exactly take the city by surprise so also home was his work computer and all of this papers so he could keep the office spirit alive at the kitchen table.  It was okay though, I made the kids do their lessons as well because I'm just.that.mean.

Never fear, there was plenty of sledding despite all that.


And now, a mere week after the mighty blizzard of 2016 has struck, our temperature in Northern Virginia is a balmy sixty-two degrees...and it's supposed to be even warmer by Wednesday.  I don't even have words.

David, David has words though: "I don't think it's fun." [insert sad face].  My poor, poor children and their melted sledding dreams.
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