Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

7 Quick Takes: June 1

Once again, I am doing the Friday Quick Takes link up with Conversion Diary on a Saturday. Because I am totally in control of my own life. Ha. Ha ha.

1. I didn’t do a blog post yesterday because we were really busy getting today’s garage sale together. We spent a large portion of the day rooting through the basement for boxes of shtuff, organizing said shtuff in the garage, setting up tables, drawing signs and figuring out prices, going to the bank to change $20’s for dollar bills and quarter rolls. Oh, wait, the bank doesn’t have rolls of quarters today? Well…uhh…I really kind of needed the quarters…fine just give me more ones. Grr.

2. At least our lack of quarters wasn’t a big deal, because we had a total of maybe twelve customers all day. We made $54 in profits. That includes the sale of a $20 sofa. What a bust. I think it was a combination of factors, not least of which is the more-or-less country location of my parent’s neighborhood. Another factor was probably that we didn’t put an ad in the local paper, relying instead on a Craigslist ad and street signs. Another factor was probably that we were trying to sell a ton of junk. But it wasn’t a wasted effort because that stuff needed to leave the house anyway. We were prepared to just donate it all to the Goodwill in the first place, so any money we make selling items really is a bonus. We are just thrilled someone bought that sofa. That in itself was totally worth all the effort we put into the garage sale project.

3. I’m still pregnant! This is a big deal for me because I’ve already been mentally and emotionally prepared to give birth on three separate occasions. Hopefully Agnes can hang on for another week or two. On the other hand, I had no idea how exhausting it would be for me to live like this, thinking I can be sent to labor and delivery at any moment. I almost want to just get it over with already; at least that we can be finished with the not-knowing-what-to-expect part and move on to the finding-out-answers-and-dealing-with-things part of raising a baby with medical problems.

4. Speaking of still being pregnant, I just have to share this even though I risk veering into the TMI department. Two nights ago I woke up at 1:20am like “Oh my gosh, Jeremy wake up. I think my water just broke.” I was not thrilled to say the least. So I grabbed some fresh p.j.’s and hobbled down the hall to the bathroom, and it turns out my only issue was related to that huge glass of water I drank right before going to bed, if you catch my meaning. I stood around and walked a bit just to make sure I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid after all, then I went back to bed. So on the one hand, super glad we didn’t have to book it to the hospital in the middle of the night again (like with Stephen’s birth). But on the other hand, embarrassed about reliving early childhood night time bladder problems. I know these things happen when you’re pregnant, especially when you already have an adorable tot to thank for even weaker bladder control. But. Still. Embarrassed.

5. I’ve been baking like a fiend again. I usually do this when I’m feeling stressed about life. I finally baked those peanut butter bars I posted about last week, I did chocolate gelato earlier this week, and I made scones for breakfast yesterday. Tonight still I’m going to bake a pound cake. I don’t necessarily see this habit of mine as a bad thing, but it does tend to fill up the kitchen with more bakery than I should really be eating. It’s a good thing I’m “eating for two” and that I live with my parents, and Jeremy, and a toddler whose fledgling vocabulary does include the remarkably well-pronounced “coo-kie” and “cake.”

6. I’m baking the pound cake for myself because tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 29. Both Jeremy and my mom have said, “Don’t you want someone to make something for you on your birthday? Why are you baking your own cake?” I am baking my own cake because then I can pick what flavor I want, and I know it will taste awesome. Because I bake a mean cake. My family can cook dinner for me or something on my birthday, but I want to do my own cake. It’s going to be Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake with a Lemon Syrup brushed on the cake to soak in. My birthday is going to be amazing.

7. Jeremy and I met with Fr. Sal about Agnes’ baptism, which I am really excited about. The Eastern Catholics do baptism, chrismation, and holy communion all at once for babies, so Agnes will be able to receive Eucharist at Divine Liturgy! The theology behind this practice is we know Eucharist is wonderful and good for people to have. We don’t want to withhold that goodness from children. It’s like a mother feeding her newborn; the newborn doesn’t have to understand how and why her mother is feeding her in order to benefit and grow and be nourished. It’s the same with us and the Eucharist. It is a holy mystery and even adults can’t fully understand the miracle. The Eastern Catholic tradition emphasizes a child’s first confession as the milestone sacrament, whereas the Latin Rite emphasizes first holy communion. It’s a difference, and one that I am excited about embracing. Since babies do receive all three sacraments in one shot, so to speak, there is the possibility we can get Stephen caught up as well! Fr. Sal is going to check for us what we would have to do or if Stephen can even go ahead and receive chrismation and start receiving communion. He’s right on the edge, though, and he might be old enough now that he would have to wait until “age of reason,” but I don’t know what the custom is for Eastern Catholic. I’m anxious to hear what Fr. Sal finds out!

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Spring Cleaning?

We are really trying to do away with many things in our home. We made a “dejunking checklist” and put each room down, plus the various closets and sub-areas like the files. Today we were really busy with “dejunking” and we have made some good progress. We have finished with the storage unit, the bookshelves, our walk-in closet, the bedroom except for the file cabinet and office supplies, the closet in Stephen’s room, and…um…that’s it. It seemed like we did a lot but the place still looks super full! That’s the problem we’ve been having, though. We have been super busy getting ready to move this whole week and we can only cross off like two things on our to-do list! We’ve taken two loads of stuff to the Goodwill, as well as thrown away a bunch of stuff that is only good for trash. But we still need to finish the kitchen (a biggie), the bathroom cupboards, the laundry closet, the file cabinet and office supplies, and the hall closet.

We also found a buyer for our piano! That is huge, too, because we really didn’t want to move it across the country again. I’m sad to see it go because I enjoyed having a real piano, but the reality is it will take a ton of real estate in a U-box, plus we have to hire pro piano movers on each end to get it out of our second floor apartment, then into my parent’s split-level. We have decided to wait until we get our own place again before buying another cheap used piano. There are dozens listed on Craigslist all the time, so I don’t think it will be hard to replace when the time comes.

In other news, despite our efforts to get stuff out of our home, we did bring something home today. Stephen has been pining for one of those ride-on plastic car things. Ever since we visited a friends house and Stephen spent practically the entire time there perched on the plastic car, we have known we had to get him one of his own. We went to a second-hand mother-to-be/kids store and I looked for maternity dresses and Jeremy test-drove plastic ride-on cars with Stephen. They picked out a good one; it looks like a bi-plane and has a Mickey Mouse on the front. There are shape sorter holes in the body, but no shapes; that’s fine because we have a shape sorter toy already and I think the shapes will transfer. The lights and sound don’t work because the battery compartment is grody, but Jeremy will clean it at some point and have it working like new. Stephen doesn’t mind; he is happy as a clam with his slightly broken second-hand plastic ride-on Mickey Bi-plane.

We also have the first leg of our road trip confirmed and well on the way with the second leg. It’s going to be awesome!

That’s all the news from the home front for today. Hopefully it wasn’t too boring!

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Baking with Babies

Today I baked some cookies and I let Stephen help me. Okay, I did it while we were home alone this morning and I was hoping this activity would keep him interested for a while and eat up some of our morning. And it worked. He was actually pretty excited to help!

We put on aprons. I folded Jeremy’s apron so it wouldn’t drag on the floor when Stephen wore it. I pulled a kid stool over to the kitchen counter so Stephen could stand on it and see what I was doing. I showed him the stuff I put in the mixing bowl. I let him try to stir the butter and sugar together. I gave him a taste of creamed butter and sugar. Then he wanted a taste of every subsequent step, but that was okay. It was pretty easy to deflect his reaching finger.

His favorite part was dumping the cups of rolled oats into the mixing bowl. I would pour the oats into the cup measure, hold the mixing bowl down where Stephen could reach, and help him flip the cup so the oats dumped into the bowl. The recipe called for 3 cups of oats. 3 cups of awesome.

I spilled some chocolate chips on the counter when I measured those out. Stephen put a couple back in the cup for me, but he also ate one or two. I didn’t mind.

The most difficult part for him was watching me spoon lumps of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. He really wanted to grab a cookie!

Luckily he didn’t start losing attention until the first batch went in the oven. Frankly, I’m surprised he lasted that long. Oh well, I guess it’s time to admit to myself that I’m just an awesome mom who thinks of really engaging activities full of teachable moments.

Don’t worry, I did give him a delicious cookie after the first batch cooled enough to eat. It was a pretty fun morning. And he is totally my baking good luck charm now. This is the first time in, like, ever that I have made exactly as many cookies as the recipe claims I will be able to make. 6 dozen, boom baby!

I had fully intended to make Jeremy take a picture of us in our aprons so I could post it with this blog entry, but the afternoon totally got away from us for reasons that I will divulge possibly on Monday or Tuesday. All I’ll say is the evening ended with Chinese take out and The Muppet Movie on Netflix. And beer.

Time for another. Again, don’t worry. My big bad pregnant self is drinking O’douls tonight.


I don’t even LIKE donuts

So let me just preface this post by saying I’ve never been a huge donut fan. Sure, I’ve been excited about the after-mass coffee and donut Sundays at the various parishes I’ve attended over the years. When I was working at a church in Billings I often hit up the donut selection between masses to help get me through the morning line up. I will be the first to admit that I have absolutely no problem with desserts in general–quite the contrary, actually.

So on Friday when I saw an advertisement for Dunkin Donuts in my Facebook NewsFeed (also strange because I don’t even “Like” Dunkin Donuts), and it made my eyes light up and go “ooooh,” I was a bit surprised.

I put off the unusual donut craving all day, but I couldn’t take it any more by the evening and made Jeremy Google “best donuts in Albuquerque” because I needed me some donut. I’ll just stop here to say again, I don’t even like donuts. He came up with two top choices, Duke City Donuts and Rebel Donut. Well, we didn’t really know where the heck Duke City Donuts is in Albuquerque, and I didn’t need a donut so badly as to make a special trip into the heart of congested Saturday morning urban area, so we turned our attention to Rebel. Behold, they have two locations, one of which is just down the street from some errands we had already planned for the morning!

So we added a trip to the donut store to our Saturday morning agenda. Rebel Donut has all kinds of goofy flavors: fruity pebbles, chocolate pretzel, red chile bacon, mint chocolate, peanut butter, coconut, and more. I don’t remember all the great names of the flavors. Plus I’ve already stolen their picture for my blog so I don’t want to steal their names as well. My favorite one I tried was cookies and cream. Yes, that does imply that I tried more than one. No, you don’t need to know how many I tried.

So, Rebel Donut.

But the story continues. Jeremy and I do a study group at our church on Monday mornings, and I usually bake a little something to take along. I didn’t have time last night, so we decided to stop at the store on the way and pick up something from the bakery.


I don’t know! They just looked good to me! And I don’t even like donuts.

But you know, apart from my current donut fixation, I did make some room in my heart for today’s National Food Day: Oatmeal Nut Waffle Day! I used this recipe, and the waffles were delish. They turned out super hearty; I couldn’t even finish my one waffle. We served a complete breakfast for dinner to go with the waffles: bacon, eggs, guacamole (we had an avocado that was seriously on its last day). The recipe says to garnish with peaches, which is absolutely delicious, though I’m sure maple syrup would also be heavenly. We may even serve these same waffles next week on National Waffles Day. So all in all, we’ve had a very breakfast-y day, and it’s been awesome.

oatmeal nut waffle


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This post is not about fish tacos

So today was the first day in two weeks that my husband Jeremy had the entire day free from work. He works for our parish church and his hours often involve weeknights and weekends, sometimes just for a couple hours at a time, like when he guest teaches at the youth group or something. And today was with first day in two weeks he didn’t have to go in for even one minute. Yesssss. So we spent the day doing lovely family things like:

1. Eating oatmeal for breakfast. I made three servings according to the tube of oats, and we each ate one serving. One serving for me, one for Jeremy, and one for Stephen, my 21 month old toddler. Yes, that’s right. The toddler ate just as much oatmeal as us adults. And then he was upset when I took away his empty bowl, like he wasn’t done with it or something.

2. Going to the storage unit to pick up the big suitcase so I can pack for my trip. Stephen and I are going to visit my parents in Ohio on Monday. We’ll be there for a week. I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll do while I’m gone; we’ll have to see.

3. Going to the pet store to buy more cat litter and cat food. The Petco in Albuquerque has a refillable litter container. You buy the full container once then pay a lesser price to refill it from the giant cat litter sand box they have in the cat section of the store. Maybe all Petcos have this, I don’t know. I’ve never seen it before and I think it’s great. Also in cat news, the Science Diet food our cat forces us to buy has a new package that now closes with velcro. Velcro. How cool is that?

4. Eating leftover pizza for lunch. And because I’m a good little blogger, I linked you to the relevant previous post, even though you can just scroll down the page and see it right there. Ha. Ha ha.

5. Putting Stephen down for a nap, and then tragically, waking him up again when it looked like he was sleeping too late into the afternoon. Oh boy, that did not go well. It took two cups of juice, four crackers, a muffin, a diaper change, a clothes change, and a box of legos to bring him down from that ledge. And even then he was cranky up until bedtime.

6. Eating fish tacos for dinner.

And now Jeremy is off bottling home-brewed beer with some friends and I’m home alone with the cat and a sleeping toddler, writing a blog post.

How did you all spend your lovely Saturday?

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