Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Come Home

Last week, I took John to the library for the first time. It was pretty fun. He got some board books and I picked up a few cook books (my weakness).

One of the books John got was Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. I remembered reading this book when I was a little girl. The basic plot of the book is that the little bunny is trying to find ways of leaving his mother, but she always seeks him out. For example, he says he will be a rock on a mountain, and she says that she will be a mountain climber and climb to where he is.

As a child, I never understood why the little bunny would ever want to leave his mom. Now I understand that this book is about the childhood quest for autonomy and the consistency of a mother's love through that process. When I was reading it to John before his nap today, I also found the content in this book could a metaphor for our relationship with God.

I think we all "run away" from God in our lives - some farther than others. But just like the mother in this book, Our Lord is always seeking to have a relationship with us. We are never very far from Him, even though it may feel that way.

"I will be a bird and fly away from you," said the little bunny.

The Seattle Archdiocese has taken on the Catholics Come Home campaign during Lent this year. The aim of the campaign is to reach out to Catholics, primarily via commercials on TV, who are not coming to Church anymore (who have "run away") and to invite them to take another look at the Church. Whatever the reason is for leaving, the Catholic Church wants everyone to know that they are always welcome to come back home.

"I will be a tree that you come home to," said his mother.

The Catholics Come Home website has a lot of answers to common questions that people have concerning what the Church teaches and how to "come home."

The following is my favorite one of the commercials that will be aired on major TV stations in the Seattle area:

Friday, February 19, 2010

7 Quick Takes ~ Vol. 14

Hosted at Conversion Diary

1. John had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Everything looks good! He is in the 90th percentile for height!

2. I've been listening to a Wiggles CD with John almost every day. I don't mind the music - it's kind of fun. But Andrew and I get the songs stuck in our heads, which is not so fun. A few days ago, Andrew pointed out that at this age John doesn't really care what I listen to with him, so I should savor my days of being able to listen to adult music. Before I know it, John will be demanding to listen to certain songs over and over... Good point, Honey! So, we are listening to the Beatles right now! ;)

3. I made six pies today and four pies yesterday! That's right - ten pies total! It's all for an event that I am helping to plan with the PYC at my church. The event is a "dinner for couples," to honor the fact that married couples are the heart of the family. My friend, Kristine Mauss, is coming to be the guest speaker - speaking on the sanctity of marriage. It should be fun!

4. On February 7th and 8th, Mom and Dad St.Hilaire came down for a visit. It is always so nice to have them here. I love seeing them with John. He is so lucky to have two sets of grandparents who dote on him!

5. John is getting better at eating. He is less interested in grabbing the spoon and more interested in eating the food, which makes for a cleaner meal!

6. Andrew has been busy with work. He is doing a lot of good things with both of his jobs. He is working hard with Star of the Sea on the Catholics Come Home campaign (post about this soon to come!). With Swing Set Mall, he has been working with the new website design to get it ready to launch. Hopefully it will be done soon! I am proud of my hard-working husband!

7. John is super cute with his waving. He waves all the time: to himself in the mirror, to me and Andrew whenever we look at him, to random babies at church, and pretty much everyone else!! I love how friendly he is! =)

Monday, February 15, 2010

9 Months Old...

John turned nine months old today. I've been anticipating this day with mixed emotions. I'm so proud of my little waving-crawling-chattering-solid eating little boy and I love the changes that each day brings. On the flip side, today marks the day that he has been out in this world as long as he was inside me. Before now, I could say that he has spent more of his life growing inside me than being outside in the world. For me, this day is very significant and I feel a little sad. I loved being pregnant and now it seems like a distant, fond memory.

I drove by the birthing center today where John was born. Whenever I drive by that place, I feel great excitement. I love thinking back to the day John was born, it was such a surreal turning point in my life. And now I have a big boy that is getting into everything! =) It has all happened so quickly!

Another crazy thought is if I got pregnant again on the same day I gave birth to John (pretty much impossible), I would be due any day now! Haha, that's a funny thought!

Well, here's to you, John! My wonderful, joyful little boy! My heart swells every day with love for you! I am so proud to me your Mama!

After John's first bath at home!

John's bath last night!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Video of John Watching a Video of Himself

Yes, I know I'm weird... but I had to get a video of John watching himself on a video because it is SO cute! Here he is watching the video that I posted earlier today:

Happy Valentine's Day! - Love, John

John wants to wish you all a happy Valentine's Day on this video where he also reveals his new trick! He began doing this new trick since last Saturday. Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Best - Birthing - Story - Ever!

Oh my goodness!

I just stumbled across and read this birthing story. It was amazing. I cried - A lot! (warning: this may not be a good story for pregnant mothers, I know it would have been more emotional for me if I was pregnant)

It is such a beautiful witness to life and the dignity of all people. It is a little long, but worth every minute!

Friday, February 5, 2010

First word? (kind of...)

John has been saying "mamama..." recently. He says it mainly when he is crabby and wants me - which makes me think that he knows I respond to it! I have tried to get it on video but every time he is doing it and I point the camera at him, he stops. So here is the best video I have been able to get. He is in his ocean chair because I was taking a shower, by the time I was taking this video, he was ready to get out (hence, the "mama...").

10 Ways We Save

Andrew and I recently had a meeting about our budget. Our goal is to get out of debt this year so we can begin looking for a home. Below is a list of how we are currently trying to save money. We are always looking for more ways to save - so, if we tagged you, please write your own post about how you save and then tag three of your friends!

~ ~ ~

1. Thrift stores/hand-me-downs - We love to buy clothes at thrift stores, especially for John. In fact, we have only purchased clothes for him second-hand. We also never turn down the offer of hand-me-downs from our friends! =) Additionally, I want to use our local consignment store more because I can get rid of my clothes there and earn store credit.

2. Hair cutting - This morning, Andrew cut his hair with an electric shaver. He has been doing this since before we were married. I have learned to trim up the back of his neck and around his ears. So as a team, we cut his hair for free (aside from the original purchase of the shaver). We will most likely cut John's hair too. Though I don't need to know this yet, I have looked into how-to videos for the future reference when cutting our kids' hair: BOYS or GIRLS

3. Planning meals - I have learned a lot about meal planning over the last year. It has really helped us save! If I have a plan then I am less likely to buy random things at the store. I only buy what we need for the meals. I usually do a plan for two weeks, which means I only have to go to the store about two times each month - which I like a lot! HERE is a good resource for learning how to meal plan.

4. Cloth diapering - We spent around $300 on cloth diapers and wipes (the wipes were actually free - as a gift!). We are saving a lot of money by going the cloth route, especially because we will be able to use these diapers for multiple kids. HERE are all my posts on cloth diapering.

5. Samaritan Ministries - HERE is my post explaining what Samaritan Ministries is - in short, it's a health sharing ministry in which all the members share each other's medical expenses over $300. Our monthly share is $245 (way cheaper than health insurance!). So far our experience has been really good. Our only medical expense has been John's well-baby visits - about every three months. Those visits cost $198 for private pay patients, which is really not that bad. We also get 10% off by paying the full amount at the appointment.

6. Eating out less - This heading speaks for itself. We try not to eat out much - maybe once or twice a month.

7. Netflix + Roku = Savings! - We have been using Netflix to get our movies. We pay $9.99 per month and that includes one movie sent to us at a time plus unlimited streaming movies and TV shows. Not all movies and TV shows are available for streaming, but more are added every day! We use to watch streaming shows on our laptop but then Andrew found a device called "Roku" that lets you sink up your Netflix que to your TV. It is so cool! The best part is there are no commercials!

8. Selling things we don't use - Andrew just recently sold a guitar amp that he hasn't used in a long time. It was worth a lot of money, so now we have extra money to put towards our student loans. The cool thing is he sold it to a man who is in a band, so the amp will actually get a lot of use. It makes me happy to see things be used!

9. Being a homemaker - We both think that having me at home with John is invaluable and it does save us money. I do a lot around the house (most of the time!) and a care for John 24/7. Having those things hired out would cost us a lot of money!

10. Opting for homemade - This last Christmas, we tried to make most of our gifts. It saved us money and it was more special! Also, right now I am attempting to make a lot of John's food and freeze it - this is really easy to do with fruits and veggies!

We'd love to hear how you save! We tag Athena, Katelyn, and Anna! =)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Video of John Standing

For those of you eagerly awaiting a new video of John, here you go!! In this video he will show you his new trick - standing! He does not stand freely yet, but he has been pulling himself up for a couple of weeks.

No babies were injured during the making of this video (you'll see what I mean at the end!)