Monday, August 3, 2009

Fell off the wagon a bit

I know myself pretty well. And I know that I'm really really bad at keeping up with cleaning, unless I'm in the right mood. Well, my desire for a clean house is still there, but it's kinda gotten stalled a bit.

You see, shortly after I started my cleaning kick, our apartment was broken into and we had a few things stolen (a couple things kindly replaced by Chris's boss). But when you get violated by that kind of thing, you desperately want to change things. Since getting an alarm system is out right now (we're not paying to secure a cheap apartment that we were never planning on staying in for long) we figured now is an opportune time to think about purchasing a home. But, as Chris said one day, "Why bother cleaning/decluttering if we're just going to have to pack it up soon anyway?". At the time I told myself "NO! Declutter now! Then the new home will be clean and nice and you won't have to do it there!". Unfortunately, the apartment is still cluttered and there is very little progress on the house buying front (due to lack of time).

I'm not entirely to blame, I've had a lot on my plate this past fortnight. Annie Jr went up this past weekend to sold out houses. It's so successful we're adding another matinee this Saturday. In addition to the "stage manager hat" that I"m wearing for Annie, I also have to put on my "board member hat" and make sure brochures are there (should have done a bunch of other stuff, but didn't think of it til today). Plus, we catered the stamp show this weekend. And lest you forget, kind reader, I also have that all important "mom hat". Gerenerally other hats kinda just get stuck on top of it, but it's had to be cast off for short periods of time becaues the hat hair was causing some forgetfulness problems. Enough with the hat metaphor though, I should be cleaning right now, right?

So yes. I need motivation. I think I have set a goal (just need husband approval). If I can get all the paper piles taken care of, then I can purchase the books patiently sitting in my amazon shopping cart (about $60 worth, all related to theater stuff). Let's hope Chris agrees to that!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm on a roll...

Since I'm so excited about this new cleaning thing, I've been on a major roll. Last night after shining the sink I could barely fall asleep because I wanted to clean so much more. I restrained myself however and finally managed to fall asleep. Grace awoke me at 6:15, normally not a problem, but since I have to go to 10:30 mass and she didn't go back to sleep until 7:45, I did not go back to bed (I'm still slightly bitter about that). Since I really couldn't go back to bed because I'd only be able to sleep for about 45 minutes, I started on a cleaning spree! Here's the list of what I accomplished so far:
  • Put in a load of laundry
  • Washed all the dishes still left over from last night
  • unloaded the dishwasher
  • completely cleaned the bathroom
  • made a pot of coffee
  • switched the laundry
  • cleaned off half of the kitchen counter
And I'm currently enjoying my coffee and a bowl of cereal before I hop in the shower and make myself look pretty.

Now the only question is, What should I wear today?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My vocation is calling

So, there's a lot going on with me right now, internally speaking at least. I'm really feeling that I'm neglecting my vocation. How? By not keeping my castle clean. So I'm starting to work on it, slowly so that I'm building habits instead of just crisis cleaning (although there's a bit of that right now). I'm utilizing a few things: the book "A Mother's Rule of Life" (more on that in a later post) and the site

The Fly Lady is pretty spectacular, check out her site. Her first baby step is to shine your sink, and that's what I did tonight! I really want to share more of this journey, but it's late, so for now, I leave you with some before pictures as well as a shot of my good-as-new sink!

And here's my new, shiny sink!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Over the river and through the woods

Later today (well, more like tonight) Chris, Grace and I are going to be hopping on a plane and jetting off to New Hampshire. Chris's sister is graduating high school and the family needs to meet the littlest member so now is the perfect time to head out there. I'm rather freaked out about the trip for about a million reasons. Firstly, packing alone is stressful. I've got some good lists and it is almost done (Grace's stuff just has to get put in the suitcase and mine will be easy). Next, we don't have an actual boarding pass for Grace. I really hope that's right, cause our confirmation email has her listed as a traveller, but she just doesn't have a pass (I suppose because she doesn't have a seat). Then there's been all these plane crash stories in the news. What a way to make a mom start freaking out!

Last night though, I managed to make it to the local young adult ministry for some socializing and an hour of hardcore praise and worship before the Eucharist. Even though I still had Grace with me, being able to praise the Lord and focus on Him was fantastic. Mass is great, but getting extra time in during the week really helps to boost me up.

I wish I had some profound thing to say, but right now, I should really go finish packing so that I clean around here. Let's hope I'll be able to so that I can come home to a clean house!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Me and my baby

Trying to get into the "mom groove" is proving to be difficult. Back in my carefree bachellorette days or even my simple newlywed days I tended to be, well, lazy. I much prefer reading a historical novel while sipping coke and eating chips to cleaning and cooking. Now I feel like I need to truly be Super Mom (much like my own mother). Trouble is, I have a clingy baby! We're listening to Cake now and I have found the perfect song to describe her desire to be close to me.

Stickshifts and safetybelts,
Bucket seats have all got to go.
When we're driving in the car,
It makes my baby seem so far.
I need you here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
I need you to be here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
But when we're driving in my Malibu,
It's easy to get right next to you.
I say, "Baby, scoot over, please."
And then she's right there next to me.
I need you here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
I need you to be here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.

Well a lot of good cars are Japanese.
But when we're driving far,
I need my baby,
I need my baby next to me.

Well, stickshifts and safetybelts,
Bucket seats have all got to go.
When we're driving in the car,
It makes my baby seem so far.
I need you here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
I need you to be here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.

You see, someone sincerly does not like to just sit in her bouncer or her swing. No, Mommy over on the other side of the room singing to her is not close enough. It's a very good thing Mommy has a sling and a snugli, cause otherwise this poor poor child would be all alone.

Oh but wait! No, sitting on Mommy's lap while she goes on the computer isn't sufficent for this girl! She needs Mommy's full attention and prefers to dance about the room singing.

Oh well, she is super cute. And maybe dancing about with my baby is more important than a clean house. Yes, I think it is!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The days are slowly warming up

And I am slowly getting adjusted to motherhood. This was always the natural role for me, but it's always a different thing when it's your baby. Gracie is growing nicely, she's six weeks old today and on Monday she weighed in at a whopping 10lbs 2oz. She is a little on the short side, at birth she was 19in and she's only up to 21. That's ok though, although now she's too big for newborn size and swimming in 0-3 months.

Right now, we're in a comfortable groove of getting up, sometimes taking Dad to work or staying at home and chilling at many different locations.

I'm trying to remember that while she's my first priority right now I can't forget about me or Chris. Right now, I've got the theater to keep my mind busy (plenty of drama and work to be done) and Chris makes sure that if I'm getting sleep deprived that I can get a few hours in a row. The only thing that I really need to focus on is me and Chris. It's hard to even get time to talk to each other since we're usually either doing something (usually with my family) or are just too tired to do anything besides watch tv. Hopefully we'll start planning some date nights soon, whether they include Grace or not!

I think someone is going to be wanting to eat soon, although her uncle Lukie is kindly playing and singing with her right now! And on that subject, good news! We are slowly weaning off the nipple shields for nursing. Gracie can be much faster and more efficient with the shield, but she is able to nurse without it, which pleases me to no end. Hopefully soon she won't need it ever again!

Here's to hoping this 70 degree day is the coolest for a while! We need a chance to wear our sleeveless outfits!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gracie Mena's birth story

So now that the little punk is 3 weeks old (yes, that old!) I figure it's time for me to finally write out her birth story. She's happily swinging in her swing for now, so hopefully I can get this all written out.

Starting on Wednesday (the 22d) I started getting some early labor signs. I had some show and some mucous the week before and Monday and Tuesday I was MAJORLY nesting, and those all popped up again on Wednesday, along with contractions. The contractions were definitely different, more in my back and more noticeable, but not regular or getting stronger (yet). I spent the day with Mom and Lauren, going shopping and walking a lot. Lauren kept trying to scare me into labor and she kept making me walk a lot but I doubt that really helped (sorry sister). I was exhausted by the end of the day though, so I went to bed pretty early.

Around 2 am I was awoken with way stronger contractions that I couldn't sleep through. I got out of bed after a while and prayed a rosary while I timed them. At around 3, I woke Chris up and he didn't quite get that it was time. It was actually pretty funny, cause I think he just thought I was uncomfortable and needed to go back to sleep. We left for the hospital around 4:30. I probably should have been more ready, but we spent about a half hour finishing packing my bag and getting everything together. That was a tough half hour for me, simply because my contractions really kicked it up to the point where I had to stand still and breathe through them.

We got to Oakwood and checked in at Triage in Labor and Delivery. They checked me, and if I remember correctly, I was about 2cm and she was a -1/2 which was crazy cause she definitely was a 0 earlier that week! They kept me under observance for a few hours and the midwife there had me walk around the floor to try and kickstart things. Well, that was all well and good cause the contractions got stronger, but I was in back labor so they were REALLY painful. We went back to the bed and she checked me. At this point it was probably about 7 and I was a 3/4. She said it would probably be a while and I could either go home or wait it out there with drugs for the pain. I was in a ton of pain then, so I opted for staying and getting some meds. They popped in my IV and got me ready to go to a labor and delivery room. Around 8 we got over there and Lauren and Mom arrived. When they came in, I was on the birthing ball (like one of those exercise balls, for those who don't know) and was just in a TON of pain. When they came in to check on me they asked if I wanted an epidural and I honestly felt like I had been offered a piece of heaven. They got me hooked up to that (it took a few tries, but me being a perfect patient, I dealt with it) and it started blissfully working super quickly.

I had wanted to go natural, but with the back labor I just couldn't take it. Well, I probably could have but it was very difficult and I didn't want to tire myself out too much before I needed to push (the irony of that will soon be seen).

Once the epidural was in, it was a pretty relaxing time where we watched the Ellen show and the Price is Right. In those couple hours, I dilated super fast, a couple centimeters the first hour and then from a 6 to a 10 in about an hour! At noon, I really started getting the urge to push, and since I was dilated enough, they let me just kinda go with the flow and do what I felt I should. I ended up pushing in a few different positions, on my side, my back (the c position), kneeling and whatnot. At this point, my memory doesn't have much, it was a bit of a blur because I pushed for 4 hours and 18 minutes. Apparently the epidural wore off a couple hours into pushing, but I didn't notice. All I remember was being extremely focused on pushing and trying to relax in between. Lauren, Mom and Chris were cracking jokes but laughing hurt too much and I didn't have the energy to respond (although I know I wanted to say "that's what she said" at one point).

There were some great doctors, and I had an amazing nurse, who really helped encourage me. I'm SO glad they didn't start mentioning a csection, cause I would have gotten so discouraged. Gracie's head was slightly turned, so that's why it took so long to push her down, but finally at 4:33, I managed to get the little punk out! I did have an episiotomy and some internal tearing, which has made recovery pretty tough.

It's weird for me though. I didn't cry when she was born (probably because I was so tired and relieved to finally see her) but now, just thinking about it makes me cry like I'm watching Baby Story. Mom always talks about her "Seven Moments" and now, I finally get it. After 38 weeks and 3 days of carrying around a precious cargo, that cargo was unloaded and now I've got to care for her. If any other person had put me through the pain I went through to get her into this world, I doubt I'd love them at all, but my little Gracie has all sorts of love, so much I can't even describe it. Being a mom is amazing, wonderful, difficult, trying, tiring, laughable. But it is soo worth it, especially when my little girl curls up on my chest and smiles in her sleep.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grace Philomena has arrived!

Updates, including the full story of Gracie Mina's arrival, will happen, I promise, but for now, here's the stats!

Gracie got here on April 23 at 4:33pm after I had been at the hospital since 5am and had pushed for a whopping 4 hours and 18 minutes!
7lbs, 8 oz
19 inches long
9's on BOTH Apgar tests!

While the little punk is giving Mama some trouble with breastfeeding, she's otherwise doing wonderfully. Tons of hair, good at sleeping and she loves to be all swaddled up and cuddled.

More on her birth story to come!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rise above it

Last night, I had a flying dream. Now, I'm a big believer in that a person's subconscious sorts through feelings and expresses them in dreams. Dreams often do have meaning. Sometimes it's just rehashing the day or looking at what's to come, sometimes our brain needs to sort through feelings and we have those dreams that are full of meaning. Now, flying dreams typically mean :
Something is generally going RIGHT in our lives! Occasionally, we may be flying to avoid something, but the flying in and of itself is still an enjoyable dream activity, and the WAY we do it may tell us more about ourselves than the actual flying. (
So how was I flying? Well, from this site, the best description is this:
Flying or Floating at Low Altitudes: Floating just above the ground by flapping your hands or arms or peddling your feet is an indication that you have lots of determination and that no matter how hard it gets, you feel you will succeed if you stay on course. This dream is an indication that relief from any setbacks is imminent.

Hm, interesting, isn't it? In the dream, I was using my arms to fly. Generally, I can agree that I have determination and that set backs aren't going to t get to me. Now, in this dream, I was using my ability to fly in order to "get away" from some annoying people.

Interpreting a dream and figuring out exactly what it means can be difficult. We don't always get the clear cut "Joseph take your family off to Egypt now!" dream. But I think I kinda figured out what this dream meant.

While the annoying people in my dream were recognizable as some people in real life (in most cases) I don't think my dream meant that I'm getting away from those people. Rather, I think those people symbolized, in some way, aspects of myself. That I'm rising above my faults, my vices and trying to really work my way to something higher.

Last night, I had a good talk with my hubby (aren't those always nice?). To me, I've been in one of those spiritual deserts for quite some time. I just don't feel God there, not like I used to when I was in high school or my first year of college. Ever since my sister Celeste died, I've felt that I've been pulled away from God. For a time, even though I believed in the truth of faith and Catholicism, I really questioned it and pulled away interiorly. While I've had a bit of a "reversion" (not that I actually left the church) I still don't feel like I'm all the way there yet. I put my trust in God, yet I don't see the fruits of that (not that I'm promised that or anything). And I guess, I'm just a bit mad at God about that. Right now, I need to feel something. I need to feel healing in my soul. I need to feel His peace and love. And He's not giving it to me!

Yes, I know I sound like a selfish little kid asking for something that, perhaps, I don't even need. But I do have a bit of hope from my dream last night. Hopefully, the things that I'm rising above and working my way over are those things that are hindering me from recognizing how God is working in my life. Maybe, just maybe, with some determination and some strong arm flapping, I can get past my negativity and cynicism and depression and all those other awful things, and get a different view point. The Holy Spirit is often shown as a dove, a bird, someone with the ability to rise above and see the big picture. And hopefully, the Holy Spirit will lift me up and show me the big picture. And I don't need to go that high, low altitudes are ok by me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Small Successes


So since I'm trying to write more, I guess this is a good "plot bunny" of sorts. I've been reading Kate Wicker's for some time now, and I figure I can participate too! (you know, since I'm 'technically' a mom). So here's my premiere edition of my weekly small successes.

1. Due to my fantastic personality, I'll be getting an hours boost at work. As my manager put it, the cafe supervisor "loves me so much, she's ready to propose". Keep in mind, I met the supervisor today. Yep, I'm just that magnificent.

2. All the clothes in my room are either folded, hung up or in the hamper. This is a huge accomplishment. Granted, Chris helped a GREAT deal, but I did have to sort through things and put some stuff away (but he did do most of it, I'll admit it).

3. I had a confrontational "conversation" with Chris and it did not involve either of us freaking out, crying and running into another room. So maybe I am getting better at communicating my frustrations to him in a loving, godly wife manner. I figure I have my whole life to practice, but it's good to make some progress (I figure I'll be less stressed if I get it sooner rather than later).

More small successes at Faith and Family Live!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just like my mommy

Well, at least when it comes to writing and wanting to write and never finding time to write (she's better at that last one than I am). I think the majority of posts on this blog have been of the "Sorry I don't update!' variety, but that's okay. I will try to do better.

I'm 31 weeks pregnant now! HOLY MOLY. That means, if you recall that there are 40 weeks in pregnancy, that I am just 9 (yes, you read that right, NINE) short weeks away from my due date. It's amazing how fast everything has gone. And you know, my belly is just huge. That's pretty crazy too.

I've been thinking about how my mind feels like it's getting stagnant. I miss being in school because I was pretty much forced to be intellectual. If I want to be "smart" now, I have to make myself do it. So, basically, I want to kick myself in the butt and push myself and really keep expanding my mind. Or something like that.

So in this whole journey of the mind, I've pretty much decided that I want to be writing. But, as I said in my Facebook "25 Random Things About Me" note, I just don't know what to write! I know all sorts of things, I suppose, but I don't want to just write something cause I know it. I mean, I could write faith things, or theater things, or a memoir. I could just write in this blog (that probably wouldn't be a bad idea, actually). I guess part of my "fear" of starting a project is my habitual procrastination/laziness/forgetfulness combined with a feeling that I'm just not qualified. It's like, Mom can write about being a mom cause she's been doing it for 23 years. I, on the other hand, am a mom, yes, but I have yet to hold my child in my arms, our umbilical connection is the basis for my mom-hood. So I guess I feel that any of my thoughts on motherhood would be looked down on because I don't have enough "experience". Same goes for pretty much any other topic, except perhaps "evangelization through going on message boards and convincing no one of anything I believe in". I've spent a good 6 1/2 years doing that. That's "experience", right?

I guess I just want to do something great, fantastic, phantasmagorical to the average person. I want to leave a mark, tell my story, tell any story. I don't know where to start, and I suppose I should just pick something and start writing it. But there's fear and procrastination. And those two things are much more familiar to me and it's much easier to stay in that comfort zone.

So for now, I suppose I should just start writing about things in this blog. Maybe that will spark some ideas.