Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008

Lucy wouldn't sit with Santa for the Funk (Ryan's mom's side) Family Christmas, but she tolerated him enough to get a candy cane from the big guy.

enjoying her new table and chair set

the only time Bridget actually opened a gift instead of eating it :)

having fun with Grandpa Bill

beginning her 'big girl' lifestyle!

I'm too lazy right now to think of a fun title for this post, so oh well. :) Overall we had a wonderful Christmas, mostly because we did not have to travel anywhere outside of Bloomington. Since our new house has more space then my mom's house, she, my sister, my brother, and a close family friend, Sue and her son Tim came over to our house for christmas. This is the first year ever where we have had a fireplace to hang and open the stockings by. The rest of the morning was spent opening the many many presents that Grandma Sophie and Aunt Gigi (Regina) had brought. Both of them love to spoil the girls, and lucky for Lucy Aunt Gigi bought her the interactive Elmo toy that I told them not to spend the money on. But, Lucy loved it, so oh well. :) Grandma Sophie also got the girls a child size gorgeous table and chairs, much like the one my siblings and I had when we were young. Besides those bigger items, Lucy's favorite gifts were an Elmo shirt from Uncle Mike and Aunt Jackie, an Elmo phone from Grandpa and Grandma Herr, and an Elmo 'boom box' from Grandpa Bill and Grandma Nancy. Can you see the trend here?

Mommy and Daddy's favorite 'present' was that Grandma Sophie helped/forced us to finally finish the girls room (which is just Lucy's for now) and the nursery (currently Bridget's). Finishing those two rooms makes the entire house feel so much more like home! Speaking of Lucy's room, yesterday we started Lucy in her 'big girl bed,' a twin bed and boxspring on the floor with cute pink bedrails. She went down fine in it for her nap yesterday, but then 10 minutes later got up and was walking around. So, I reverted back to the paci after deciding that I would rather have her not get out of her twin bed while having a paci, then having to lay next to her to have her fall asleep everytime she needed to go to bed (which is what happened at that nap yesterday). And with the paci in her new bed, she has been doing remarkably better then we expected. :)

Besides sleeping, we've been having a rough time with Lucy lately. For about the last two weeks, since before Christmas, every few days she has had some horrible screaming, crying, yelling, uncontrollable fits brought on by nothing and ending with nothing (just her finally letting me hold her and 'giving in'). When she has them nothing will stop her - we've tried giving her the paci, giving her really any kind of cookie or treat that we have, letting her watch Elmo...everything. But, we don't want to call them 'tantrums' - they are not because she is being forcefully stubborn or mad at not getting something she wants. It just seems like somehow she isn't able to control her emotions for that 45 minutes to 2 hours. Has anyone gone through this or have any ideas?

oh, and more pics to come on facebook sometime in the near future!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NK 37

I've been meaning to write about NK for a while, and while I've got one minute, I'm going to quickly. It ended up being a wonderful weekend for all involved, and I got more out of it then I was expecting to (but I shouldn't have doubted it!). The talks were all really good, Agape (which was 'construction site' was honestly one of the best I've ever seen!!! But, I still can't find any pictures of it!) was so much fun, and CC was completely amazing. My good friend, Lauren LaCoy, was CC and it was as moving to me as my first, on NK27, 10 retreats ago. One of my favorite parts of it was Charlie (junior at Newman), who is not a small guy) crying the second it started until hours after it was done-more then any of the girls. :)

And, I know many of you 'older' Newman people have seen these pictures from Molly's blog (oh, and Molly-thanks for letting me use these pics without asking you ;)), I wanted to put them on here anyways for the rest of you to see. Reunion was such a blast, and Simon, Maria, and Lucy were definitely the highlight of the evening for all(and of course Charlie, Cecilia, and Bridget too, they just couldnt dance as well as the older ones!)! They all looked so stinking adorable, I can't wait till we can all get together again! I was craving Lucy all weekend, but after only one hug for me she wanted to be on the dance floor with all the action or in other people's arms. She espiecially liked Elizabeth and Susie that night. She insisted that Susie hold her, and Susie, being the super mom that she is held both Maria and Lucy, until I went over and Maria happily let me hold her; so we ended up switching girls, as the pictures show. Enjoy!

spring semester & "Roomie"

I've been quite busy this semester between everything going on in our lives, and been a bit overwhelmed by it. I am only taking three classes currently, but one of them has been the toughest I have hit in college yet. It has been the one class since I've been a "non-traditional student" where I am sure I am not getting an A. I would be very happy to receive a B. This professor just keeps grading lower and lower every assignment. Granted, I have learned a lot in this "Advanced Child Development" class, but it's just not as easy as I thought it would be (and I have two young children to pull experiences from, and I'm still not living up to her expectations!). Next year, I was planning on taking my last 5 classes, and then doing my internship and graduating in the summer, while getting many more hours of babysitting for the girls (hopefully some from Patrick, whom I will refer to later). But, now I am thinking that I just won't be able to enjoy our family and will be a overly grumpy wife and mother which won't be good for anyone. And, from a talk put on last week to some of my friends and I, Father Dittmer really stressed the importance of taking care of ourselves as wives and mothers first, because, like I said, we won't be able to live our vocation out to the holiest, or push our families' to be holy, if we can't deal with our own emotions. But, not taking a full load next semester means that I would push my graduation back (again!) to december of 2009, which is another depressing thought. ugh....
In other news, the girls now have a new 'roomie' living in the fourth bedroom upstairs! No, not a dog, Battey's (thank goodness! we will never be a dog family!), but a friend from Newman, Patrick Wood. Some major roommate issues forced him to be pushed out of his apartment and was homeless for a few weeks before we even found out. It was when people were asking him after K-Mass one night where he would stay for the night that I realized what was going on. And, since we didn't buy our home for our current family, but for our (hopefully) larger future family, we actually have two open bedrooms (as Bridget hasn't moved out of our room yet, nor have we tried to move Lucy to her 'big girl bed' yet). So, a few weeks ago, Patrick and his crew moved all his stuff in. He is actually only a few months younger then Ryan, because he was in some kind of service ( I forget which one) and went to Iraq for a few years, and is now returning to school. I got to know him more this semester because he was on my NK team as the Mary speaker. When we were growing up my mom let multiple people in need of a home live with us for different amounts of time, and now I can really respect her for all that she did for them. And, her house is maybe half as big as our house right now.
Also, something you might not expect from the most eligible newman bachelor (I think he is literally one of a few men there who isnt dating, engaged, or in the seminary), is that he is head over heels for Lucy and Bridget. Before he moved in, he honestly held Bridget more then all the other newman girls put together. And our (big) little B just adores him right back. Lucy goes in spurts of liking Patrick, but she does that with us too. :)
Anyways, just keep us in your prayers, as these last few weeks of the semester are really hectic, and still living out of boxes makes it even more stressful (although I'm hoping to get a lot done this week with break! whoo hoo!).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mom Expo

We have been plenty busy with the move, so we haven't written in a while. Almost everything is painted and the basement refinishing will begin on monday!! I can't wait to post before and after pictures!! It's been pretty stressful, but tomorrow afternoon I'm taking a break-I've been looking forward to the annual MamaPrenuer Bazaar at the new hotel by Target (if you're in Bl-Normal). It has all my favorite local mom businesses, such as Pinstripes & Polkadots, Summer Knoblach Photography (we're saving up for her to take some family pics in a few months!), and The Sling Connection. I'm really excited to have all my favorite places in one spot!...Plus, I'm hoping to win lots of prizes (since we are pretty good at that)!

Monday, October 20, 2008


We got the keys to our new house! We don't own it yet, as the closing was AGAIN pushed back from last Friday to sometime this week. :-/ But, I just told them that we could not wait any longer to get in there and start working, since there is a lot to be done. Especially because of NK next weekend, my time is extremely low. So, we did get early possession of the house and started working Friday night until last night, and will be back there every day this week. There isn't a ton of work for us to do, but plenty still. We literally have to paint every room of the house. Then, a lot of little fix-it projects and our big basement project are being done by a family friend.

We did finish the green in the kitchen/family room (the color similar to the Bailey's main floor- I just LOVED it there!), and started a gray-blue color in the front living room. Both colors look amazing and are exactly what we wanted! It feels so wonderful to finally have a home that is OUR OWN that we can paint and do what we want too....I'm so sick of white walls from our rental homes. We're not even living in the house yet, but I can give you 100 reasons why it is so much better then where we are now. It's just a really beautiful house. :)

Although fixing up and moving into a new home is very exciting, but also extremely stressful. And, since I'm trying to be a wife and mother of two, a student, a NK lay director, AND move into a new house, that complicates things even more. But, I read a lot of Danielle Bean and Faith & Family Live to get good suggesstions and an occasional laugh or two from their children. :) Today, I found a post by one of the mom bloggers-Arwen, and just really found it awesome for Catholic moms, espiecially this line:
"I firmly believe that God blesses us with His grace as we work to live out our vocations. Motherhood, especially with young children, leaves little time for extensive contemplation - but if we seek to love and serve God while we love and serve our children, He will fill our hearts with Himself just as much as He does for contemplative nuns who spend whole days at a time in the chapel." It is just what I needed when I get down on myself and feel guilty about not accomplishing the daily prayer that I was so 'good' at accomplishing even a few weeks ago.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Guest post by Ryan

Just a few of Lucy's favorite words:

3 syllables:

2 syllables:

1 syllable:
Various zoological onomatopoeia

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


No, we have not closed on our new house yet. :( The closing date has been set and moved three times already! It is supposed to be by the end of the month (which is only a week away!), and if it's not, I'm going to be really mad at someone. I've been trying to be patient with everyone involved, but honestly, this is ridiculous! The closing date doesn't just affect us, it affects the people we're currently renting from, our parents/others who are going to help us pack/move, my mom who will be coming down to help with everything, the family friend who is doing a lot of work at the new house, and NK37 (pray that we end up actually moving more then a week or two before the retreat!!). I will be contacting the seller's lawyer, bank, and realtor myself either today or tomorrow so they can understand how frustrated we are instead of our nice, calm realtor and bank.

In other news, Lucy just turned 18 months last Sunday and Bridget is well on her way to 4 months!! I can't believe how fast they are growing, but it is so fun to see! They are now interacting a lot more with Bridget actually 'talking' and laughing back when Lucy plays with her, and Lucy loves to try and hold bridget too! Their halloween costumes are insanely amazingly adorable, and we need to get together with all of you so we can show all the chillens off! :-D We also finally have gotten Bridget into cloth diapers a few weeks ago, and it is wonderful! They are now in the same size BumGenius rise (size) of medium, which is a little crazy. Soon enough they will be wearing the same size clothes, as Bridget is 3 months, and wearing 6 month clothes which really aren't big on her at all! We also switched to cloth wipes, which honestly, if youre doing cloth diapering is SO much easier then trying to do disposable wipes with cloth diapers! I highly reccomend it! I did buy some cotton babies/BumGenius wipes, but mostly we just use baby washcloths as they are cheaper and work exactly the same.

Well, I've got class in a bit, so I need to go, but I'm going to put up a facebook album of pictures sometime today, so check there for those!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I saw this video on Danielle Bean's Blog, and really enjoyed it. It's a bit lengthy, but gets the message across. On a side note, our Epiphany Elizabeth Ministry is thinking about coordinating with the other Catholic churches in Bloomington-Normal to get her to come do a mother's retreat day late this year or early 2009!! Whoo Hoo!

But, since that is still in the planning stages, we are heading out to Champaign in November to see www.smartmartha.com talk. :-D You should come!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

PS-I don't care Raul

Raul recently informed me that I had too much pink on our site. Well, my friend, we have two little girls - pink is our life right now whether we like it or not. And, I happen to like the stylish pink and black stripes. Oh Uncle Papi.....We miss you being in Bloomington.

Our new house (hopefully)!

Limerick Lane

front living room

dining room

back family room

Yes, it's been a while since the last post. Summer is gone and school has begun for me. I am taking three classes, doing some practicum hours for my major, leading the fall Koinonia retreat, moving within the next month, and all while trying to be a good wife and mother (although those are the two that I feel like I am lacking the most in right now). Ryan recently got a new job and transferred from Country Companies (the second biggest insurance headquarters in town) to State Farm ( the biggest insurance headquarters in town). The girls and I have highly benefitted from his significant pay raise, his day being shortened by 15 minutes (which doesnt seem like a lot, but is when you are dealing with the crankiest part of the day for a young toddler!), and our completely free membership to State Farm Park. It is many acres of sports fields, parks, meeting areas, and best of all a HUGE waterpark made up of 4 different pools and a sprinkler area. It is awesome!

Our house has been the biggest worry right now. We found an amazing, large house in an awesome neighborhood just a few minutes away from Epiphany. At first, it was out of our price range, but then about a month ago or so, our realator got some 'inside scoop,' and found out that the owners were in a pretty bad financial spot right now, and just really needed to sell the house at any price they could. So, we moved in for the kill, offered them less then the house was listed, and they accepted! But, the issue now is that this is what is called a 'short sale.' At first I thought that meant things would be moving fast, but I quickly realized that it meant quite the opposite. A short sale is actually a longer process then a 'normal' sale, because what we offered for the house is less then what the owners owe the bank on it. Bad for that bank, but good for us. So, it just takes a lot more paperwork and a lot more time for the bank to mull over whether or not they want to accept losing money on the house. But, the good news is, that our realtor just called me this morning and let us know that we have a tentative closing date of September 15! So, I'm trying not to get TOO excited because until the closing is actually over, there is still a chance that something crazy might happen and we wont get the house. But, everyone involved seems to be very confident.

The house is wonderful and everything we have been looking for: 4 bedrooms all on the upper level, open floor plan where the kitchen is open to the family room, larger front living room area, full basement, laundry on main floor near the kitchen and family rooms, 2 car attached garage. It also has some extremely nice 'extras' that we werent looking for at all but will be quite wonderful to have: very large master bedroom with walk-in closet, garden tub in the master bath (one of the things I am most excited about!!!), extra office area in the basement, nice sized deck and backyard. The pictures are from the houses' website, and although they are nice looking, I dont really think they do justice for the space. The pictures definitely make the rooms look smaller then they are. Plus, its a very open floor plan like I said, which makes everything feel bigger.

We cant wait to have everyone over!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

House Hunting (and more weddings!)

Well, we are pretty sure we've found 'THE house.' The asking price is fair for the house itself, but apparently, its one of the highest priced houses in the subdivision, which i guess, is a bad thing. So, we're trying to learn more about that through friends, family, and our buyer's agent (who is just helping us as a family friend with this FSBO house that we love so much), whom we lovingly call DP. He has been wonderful, but he is quite the character with his designer shoes, pink polos, and the best smelling man's cologne I have ever smelled.

Anyways, house hunting is exciting and fun, but at this point we're becoming impatient for this house and frustrated that it's overpriced for the neighborhood. We're praying that we can help the sellers realize this, and that they will come down a little. As DP always says: "You don't make money when you sell a house, you make money when you buy a house. " - meaning, don't overpay for your house, otherwise you'll be screwed when you try and sell it.

In other news, we attended our last Newman wedding of the summer, Andrew Lawrence and Kate Markowski. The food was excellent, and as always, Lucy was a hit, espicially being the only toddler there. She danced the night away with the newman girls.

She also really enjoyed dancing with David

Because she was the smallest person on the dance floor (and because of Mommy not being fast enough to catch her), she got knocked over a few times. Once by a whack to the head by the photographers camera, and once by running into Jack. He felt pretty horrible even though it was in no way his fault. But he then felt much better as Lucy became tired not long after that incident, and fell asleep in his arms while dancing.

Ryan and I were also able to enjoy the night with the help of Karen for Bridget. She didn't mind holding Bridget for an extended time partly due to the fact that it gave her an excuse not to dance with Jeremy, her crazy dancing new husband. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beyonce, Elmo, & Lucy Gianna

This is Lucy's new obsession. Ryan introduced it to her one day when they were watching their daily dose of YouTube. Now, we can't get her to stop watching it. 5, 6, 7 times in a row and she still wants more. If we make her stop, she will run to our bedroom door and yell and cry for a while........At least it's catchy. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Steed Wedding

Lucy with her new best friend

Lauren dancing with Lucy

Lucy loving the band

Amy and Bridget

enjoying the attention

Last weekend we were up north in the suburbs for Our dear friends Lauren and Drake's wedding. Lauren looking stunning with a gorgeous dress and long dark locks. The mass was of course wonderful with a beautiful choir and a great homily by Father Dittmer. Ryan and I were supposed to be in the bridal party, standing up together, but when we found out that we were pregnant with Bridget in the fall, we all decided it would be best for us not to be a formal part of the wedding. But, I will admit that it was pretty difficult for me not to be recognized as a bridesmaid for my best friends' wedding. Yet, I was recognized as momma to the two most beautiful little girls there. Lucy was even cuter then the flower girl.
Our favorite part of the celebration was the band at the reception. When not going crazy on the dance floor, Lucy espiecially liked one of the lead singers, a middle aged woman with a very sparkly sequined blue top. Once, between songs, Lucy even walked up to her with arms open wide, wanting to be picked up and held. Now, Lucy likes people, but does not really like to be held by anyone - she more prefers to do her own thing. So, this was quite a surprise to us. Luckily, the woman liked Lucy just as much as was delighted to hold her.
As a side note, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting today since I was pregnant with Bridget. And I was extremely surprised to find out that I've lost over 20 pounds since B has been born!!! I am only 6 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy #2 weight! YES!!! My goal weight is still much more then 6 pounds, but it means i'm that much closer! What great news!
PS-We were busy making sure our girls werent screaming their heads off at the wedding, so these picstures are actually stolen from a few friends. :) thanks!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

To cloth or not to cloth?

Thanks to my regular reading of Bonnie & Katie's blogs, we have decided to try cloth diapering. Now, this is dependent on the fact that trying them out goes as good as we're hoping. I am waiting to set an appointment with a woman who has a showroom to show all the different kinds of diapers and what works best for each family.

Thanks to being excited and staying up way too late last night, I've decided that we're definitely going to do an All in One Diaper, which seems to be the most convinient next to disposable diapers. Out of the AIO's, I think the ones I am most interested in are the Mommy's touch AIO's, and the Swaddlebee's AIO's.

For now at least, we are just going to use them on Lucy, for a few reasons. One, I don't really know if we're ready to do cloth diapering on Bridget's newborn poop. And two, when Bridget was born, our families were so generous with buying us diapers, that we literally have enough for her for the next 4-5 months I think, and I don't want to waste those. And, three, Lucy goes through a lot less diapers a day then Bridget does, therefore we wouldn't have to buy as many diapers.

I have finally been convinced to try cloth diapering because I don't like that there's always nasty gel from the disposable diapers on the girls' bottoms. Also, having two children in diapers has made us realize how much garbage we're creating. We need to be better about recycling and such anyways, but this is one way that we can help. So, even having just one in cloth will drastically cut down on our diaper waste. Having two in diapers (and just plain having two children in general) has made us look at our finances more as well. We are planning on buying a home in 2008, so saving even more money for the down payment, and for all the purchases that come with buying a new home (like FINALLY getting some nice, new couches and a kitchen and dining room table! :-D YAY! I cant wait!), has made us find ways to cut down in other areas. And even though there is a big investment at first with cloth diapers, even Ryan agreed that it would pay off soon enough with Bridget growing up so quick, and for all our future children as well. The biggest challenge for me I think will be to make sure that there are clean diapers avaliable for use, and hopefully this will help me keep up on other laundry as well.

Anyways, we are just really excited to try this out for our family and to see if the AIO cloth diapers actually are as convenient and easy as they seem!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2 more weeks!!!

Well, Ryan has convinced me to update our blog, since the last post says that we may be having a boy. It is a girl, she does have a name, and we love it! It's just a secret name so there is some surprise for all of you. Just Ryan, me, and Lucy know it. :)

I had an appointment this morning with Dr. Svientek, and I'm still 3 cm dilated. I know that's pretty good for 36 weeks, but since I was 3 cm last week, I was hoping for a change. It's sad when your high for the week is your internal cervical exam with your OB. :) Any mom sho's been pregnant would understand. Also, when I was talking to Dr. Svientek about possibly inducing june 11, the day before the due date, she mentioned that she would be out of town from June 4 through June 11. I don't remember her telling me this before, but it's the same situation that we were in with Lucy. And, we are looking at the same solution. We are 99% that we are going to induce 9 days early (the exact same as Lucy) on Tuesday June 3, which is two weeks from today. We have to let her know by next Tuesday, at our next appointment. We also have an ultrasound then, because at our last ultrasound, the baby was in the 95th percentile! So, around 37 weeks they like to do one last ultrasound with larger babies, just to be sure she's not like 10.5 pounds or something. That was pretty crazy to us, since we're used to hauling around our 3rd percentile Lucy (as in 03%, not 33% :) ).

We're pretty happy with the decision to induce again, since we had such a wonderful experience with inducing Lucy. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is hearing from a few certain people how inducing is not "the best choice," and how I could make a better decision. I've done it before, I don't have any of the risk factors, Lucy turned out great, I turned out great, and I hate hearing how it's such a bad idea (espiecially from men, who have NO IDEA what it is like to be 38 weeks pregnant and miserable!....okay, thats my vent for now). So, just say an extra prayer for me that when I am dealing with these few people and their comments that I can be patient, calm, and loving with them. :)

And, it's looking like I won't be tandem nursing. :( I really was looking forward to it for a lot of reasons, but I just can't handle any more of Lucy's biting. The whole time I nurse her, I am just wincing and waiting for her to bite. That's not how I want breastfeeding to be. She hasnt nursed in about 48 hours, so we shall just see if that's the end or what. I'm sad though, because I went this far in the pregnancy nursing, and I at least wanted to try tandem. Oh well.

Anyways, for today, I'm trying to stop thinking about how long two weeks away seems, and starting to think about how good the Idol finale will be tonight and how fun our Idol results party will be tomorrow night. Oh David Archuleta......you are so wonderful! :)