Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes ~ Vol. 13

Hosted at Conversion Diary

1. Just a few moments ago, John was kneeling (for the first time), and then he pulled himself up to the standing position (for the first time). Then he went crashing to the floor! I came quickly and showered him with lots of kisses.

2. It has been almost a month since he began crawling! I can hardly remember what he was like before crawling!

3. As I type, John is emptying the little waste basket by our desk and spreading trash all over. (These may be very quick takes!)

4. I am really enjoying the Mother's Support Group that I go to on Thursday mornings. Yesterday, we talked about how to keep our children open to religious vocations. This made me remember when John was first born. I recall looking at him and wondering if he was going to be a priest. Would I parent him differently if I knew he was going to be a priest? Would I have a higher standard for his behavior? In reality, we all have a call to holiness and friendship with Our Lord - so I should have a high standard for John, whatever his vocation may be.

5. John is slowly tearing the room apart as I type, so I should keep this to 5 quick takes... Here is a video of John that I took today:

Friday, January 15, 2010

7 Quick Takes ~ Vol. 12

Hosted at Conversion Diary

1. Pie Pride: Since the beginning of our marriage, I have been determined to become a good pie-maker. Under the apprenticeship of Mom St.Hilaire, I have slowly improved my skills over the last year. I made a pie for someone recently and they exclaimed, "You make the best crust!" I have to admit, it is pretty good. I made a cherry pie for my dad's birthday and it was so pretty! I kept looking at it, with disbelief that I actually made it! Now all I need is a little humility! ;)

2. Changing Every Day: John is crawling all over the house. Each day I see him doing new things. I've noticed that he is starting to climb and pull himself up... before I know it, he will be running everywhere! His latest love (aside from the drum sticks - which he continues to carry around every where) is the broom! He will find it and insist on grabbing it and pulling it down to the floor. I let him play with it under supervision - but I do have ulterior motives - maybe some day soon I'll be able to put him to work! =)

3. A Bed of His Own: Our bedtime routine is going a lot better! However, with John crawling, I feel a little nervous having him napping on our bed - in fear that he will fall off! So a couple of weeks ago, we took my old twin mattress and put it on the floor in our closet. I bought a mattress protector and sheets... now John has his own bed! I have him take most of his naps in his bed, but we still sleep together at night. We decided to move him right to a bed instead of a crib so that he will go through less transitions. When he is older, we will put the mattress on a box spring and frame. Then he will be set!

4. New Opportunities: A lot has been changing around here. Andrew was just hired to work as a marketer for our church, Our Lady Star of the Sea. He will still be working with my parents too, so he'll be working part time for both. It will work out to be more hours over all. So we are saying "good bye" to our family time on Saturdays because he will need that day to fulfill his hours. We will all be making some sacrifices to get through this busy time, but we definitely see God's will in this and know he will pour His blessings on us!

5. No pain, no gain: John had a rough night a few days back. Guess what I found the next day... a tooth! And as the day went on... I noticed another tooth! And then another! So John is working on cutting at least three teeth right now - poor guy! (Poor me!) ;)

6. Teaching: If I had stayed in my teaching program, I would be student teaching right now! It is amazing how each decision changes your life dramatically. Part of me wishes that I had finished, but then I think about not having all this time with John and I know I made the right decision. I am reading a book right now called Stay Home, Stay Happy. It is a great articulation of the struggles and blessings of at-home mothers. Despite any struggles, I feel divinely called to the work I am doing in the home - and that gives me a lot of peace.

7. On the Menu: ... Egg yolk! That is the latest food I have tried with John. Apparently egg yolk is really good for babies. Until a week ago, I was being really reluctant to commit to feeding John solids on a regular basis. It is messy and takes a lot of time. I have finally made the commitment though! I am up to two meals per day now. I am working on planning meals out for John so that he has a balanced diet. This makes me realize how I should be doing more of that for Andrew and me too so we are all healthy! A great resource is the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. I have learned SO much from that book - and not just about baby food!

Yum! Don't you want to go eat egg yolk now?!

Hope you are all doing well!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Letter to Our Senators

The following is a letter I sent to my senators today. Please keep this ministry in your prayers during this debate over health care!

Dear Mrs. Cantwell and Mrs. Murray,

I want to let you know that I am in a health sharing group called Samaritan Ministries. It is technically not health insurance, rather, it is a ministry that divides up the member's medical costs over $300 among all the other members. Each month, we share money directly with other members. For example, this month we sent our check directly to a family whose 8mo. old son was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and has had two surgeries.

Being a member of this ministry has been such a huge blessing in our lives. Not only do we share our money with the other members, but we also pray for them every day.

My request to you is that you please vote to support ministries like this one. Please make sure that language will be included in the health care bill to support our freedom to share our medical need in this way, without being forced to pay for government insurance.

Thank you so much!

Lindsey St.Hilaire
Resident of Bremerton, WA

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I was struggling a lot with getting John to sleep. I would spend up to an hour laying with him and nursing him to sleep. Many times, when I got up to leave, it would startle him and he'd wake up! =(

I've been tinkering around with ideas from the book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution." The main idea I gleaned from that book was that I should try other ways to get him to sleep so he doesn't associate nursing with going to sleep (and staying asleep). It's like he didn't know how to go to sleep on his own - he always had to be nursing.

I'm not sure exactly what I did, but over the last week, we have made a lot of improvement! Andrew and I are both so pleased! Now all I do is lay down and nurse him, and when he stops nursing and starts suckling then I get up and leave. If he starts to fuss, I lay down with him and just lay there pretending I am asleep. I don't want him to "cry it out" on his own, but I don't mind him crying while I am laying there. For the first few days, he would cry and I just stayed with him. I usually turned away from him and read from a book while he fussed. Yesterday and today, for both nap time and bed time, I have gotten up and left him on his own. He hasn't cried at all! He just lays there for a little bit and I listen to him talk for a few minutes. Then he gets very quiet, so I check on him... and... he is asleep!! =)

Praise the Lord! Bed time has been one of the most stressful parts of my day and now I feel so at peace. I'm sure we will still have rough nights here and there, but I really think we have accomplished something overall! I'm glad we've worked this out now, because I hear that it gets harder to change sleeping habits as your child gets older.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crawling Update

John is getting very fast at crawling. His latest joy is carrying things around with him as he crawls. He mainly likes to carry around a wooden drum stick that goes with the xylophone that cousin Sydney got for him for Christmas.

Missionaries of Charity

Our friend Andrew will be traveling to India to serve with the Missionaries of Charity, the order of nuns founded by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He will be there until July, and will be blogging about his experience (link below). Please keep him, the Missionaries of Charity, and those they serve in your prayers.

what He takes away, i give away

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Catching up: New Years Eve

Okay, this is my last "Catching up" post - I promise! =)

Mom and Dad St.Hilaire came down to visit for a few days and we got to spend New Years Eve with them. First, we went out to dinner with Mom, Dad and the Herrings.

John just didn't know what to order, everything looked so good! =P

Happy baby James!

Best buds!

Then we came home and played some Pictionary, it was fun - but since Andrew and I can read each other's minds, it can be challenging for other players. ;)

We weren't planning on staying up until midnight because we were all pretty tired, but before we knew it, it was 11:30pm. So we thought, "What the heck. Let's stay up!" John kept waking up and I kept soothing him back to sleep. But he woke up again around 11:50pm, so I just got him up so he could bring in the new year with all of us. Since we don't have cable, we didn't watch the celebrations on TV. We just sat in our living room. When midnight rolled around, we heard some fireworks outside. We went to the window to watch a the fireworks, drank some champagne, and talked about the highlights over the past decade - A LOT has changed!

Thanks for coming down to visit us, Mom and Dad! We always love spending time with you!

(Funny detail about this picture - we were trying to get John to look at the camera by waving a hat, thus his gaze is slightly above the camera... and so is Grandma's!! Apparently this trick works for babies and grown-ups!)

Catching up: Christmas Day - Happy Birthday, Jesus!

On Christmas day we got up early for the 8:15 Mass with my parents. John wore a suit that Uncle Lou and Aunt Jenna gave to him at his baby shower. The size is for a one-year-old, but it almost fits him now - so we couldn't resist! Then we came home and opened a few presents in our apartment.

Our first annual Christmas morning photo!

Oh goody- ribbons and paper!!

Then we went upstairs to join my parents and brother for some sausage souffle and presents.

John opening a gift from Uncle Aaron

And another gift from Uncle Aaron

One of his favorite gifts was the box that his new car seat came in!
Thanks Uncle Aaron - you're the best!

But the best present of all is having a wonderful daddy! "I love you Dad!"


The day after Christmas, we went to a party at my Uncle John and Aunt Karen's house. We got to see most of my family from my mom's side. All my cousins are growing up so fast! For some, this was the first time they met little Johnny! We all had a good time!

John with Great-Grandma!

John with Great-Aunt Leslie and Great-Grandma

And because Epiphany isn't until tomorrow,
I am still allowed to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Catching up: My Actual Birthday

On my birthday, December 22nd, we celebrated by having my favorite dinner - artichokes with hollandaise sauce, spaghetti with mazythra cheese and roasted pine nuts, and salad! Then we had peppermint ice cream cake and we decorated our little Christmas tree! This was our first Christmas tree because last year our home was too small and we were going to be at my parent's house for Christmas anyway. I was worried that we wouldn't have enough ornaments to fill up the tree, but I think it looked great!

Obligatory posed "blowing-out-the-candles" picture

Putting the lights on the tree

Decorating the tree


Catching up: Christmas Tree Cutting

I know I am terribly behind on posting this and it is OLD news. But I thought you may enjoy some pictures from our trip to Bellingham the weekend before Christmas. It is our annual tradition to cut Mom and Dad St.Hilaire's tree with them and then decorate it. I cherish this tradition and was happy to have John there to help out this year. Here are some pictures:

Getting all bundled up for some old-fashioned tree cutting!

We found the tree!

Annual photo of the family with the trees

We celebrated my birthday a little early. This is the toast - to me!

Decorating the tree!

We exchanged some presents. I made this apron for Grandma St.Hilaire. John helped! =)

Another annual Christmas picture! (They've been doing this pose for years! It is traditionally taken on Christmas morning, but this will have to do)

For Aunt Marie

Here's to you, Aunt Marie:


Look how tall I am!


Birthday Adventures =)

(Note: I began writing this post about a week ago, but I haven't had a chance to finish it until now... life is definitely busier with a mobile child!!)

Last week, I ruined Andrew's surprise for my birthday. I was checking our bank statement (I learned this is something you shouldn't do during December...) and saw "PNW Ballet." What is that? I wondered. At first I was thinking "ballot" and wondering why we were being charged for voting, but then I realized that it was actually "Ballet." Then the acronym "PNW" all made sense - "Pacific North West." Andrew got me tickets to the Nutcracker!! I felt terrible for finding out. I wasn't sure if it would be better to act surprised or tell him the truth. I ended up telling him that I found out. He wasn't too upset and appreciated my honesty.

The big day was on Christmas Eve. It was all arranged that my parents would watch John all day while we were in Seattle. I was really looking forward to having quality time with Andrew. We got all gussied up for the show, said good bye to John, and headed for the 10:15 ferry. We arrived at the ferry at 10:00am - plenty of time to spare. And boy did we need spare time because as we were sitting in line, Andrew felt his jacket pocket and said "I forgot the tickets!"

"You're joking," I snickered.

"No, I'm serious, I forgot the tickets!" His face was deadpan.

Oh no! What were we going to do?? We acted quickly and called my dad. I stumbled over my words trying to quickly explain that we forgot the tickets and where he could find them. So my dad grabbed the tickets, rushed out of the house, and was speeding on his way to meet us at the ferry. Meanwhile, Andrew ran up to the ticket booth and called Dad again to tell him to meet him there. While Andrew was gone, they started to load the ferry. I pulled over to the side of the lane so cars could go around me; I didn't want to get on the boat in case my dad came too late. The ferry worker who was motioning the cars on was perplexed so I shouted to her "I'm waiting for my husband!" Then I saw her talking on her radio and she stopped looking at me; I assumed someone told her what was going on.

I kept glancing back to see if Andrew was coming. Sure enough, in a few minutes I saw him sprinting down the ferry lane! He hopped in the car, gasping for breath, and we drove on the boat! We had a long laugh and couldn't believe what had just happened! Oh man, imagine if he had remembered after we were on the boat! It was crazy!

Fortunately, that was the craziest part of the day. The rest went like a beautiful dream!

The Nutcracker was wonderful! Andrew and I both really enjoyed the dancing, sets, and beautiful music. Before it began, I asked Andrew if he had plans for food for us. He said no. I suggested that we go to the Center House and get a bite to eat there after the show. So after the Nutcracker, we moseyed on over to the Center House in search of food. Not much was calling to us, so Andrew spontaneously suggested that we go up in the Space Needle. I asked him if he had this planned, which he quickly denied. I felt like he was going to propose to me! ;)

We passed by the long line to go up, which kept me thinking that this was indeed planned. Sure enough, he went up to the reception counter for the Space Needle restaurant and said "I have a reservation for two, under St.Hilaire." What a rascal! =)

When we got up to the restaurant, Andrew told me to order whatever I wanted. I had never been to this restaurant before and was shocked by the prices. I was concerned that we could not afford to order "whatever we wanted." After letting me stew about this for a while, Andrew pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me. It was from my brother. He wanted to treat us to lunch!! I couldn't believe it! I felt SO loved: My parents were watching John, Andrew took me to the Nutcracker, and my brother treated us to lunch in the Space Needle!!

Andrew and I had a lot of fun pretending we were wealthy while we enjoyed the amazing view! At the end of the dinner, our waiter (named Fabio!) asked us if we wanted him to call our valet. That was a first! Andrew and I smiled at each other while politely turning down the offer, assuring him it wasn't necessary.

Then we went up to the top to enjoy the view a little more.

What a great day! =) I think every mommy needs a day like that! Thank you, dear family!