Friday, September 27, 2013

7 QTs Clothes and The Day Juli Vomited in Sears

Linking up with Jen 

I have mentioned before, how much I love my neighborhood. Well, all summer long, a lovely neighbor had been working twice a week with all the older neighborhood girls on decorating articles of clothing for their younger siblings and themselves. They were gearing up for a neighborhood fashion show! There are over 20 girls 10 and under in my neighborhood. 
The end result of the "decorated" clothes was half way decent skirts, shirts and jackets covered in mismatched patches, rhinestones and about a TON of glitter! 
The girls went around and passed out flyers to all the neighbors, inviting them to attend the fashion show and there was quite a turn out! I'd say close to 50 people were there! And the funniest thing about the whole event was the fact that Juliana walked down the "runway" with Samantha's sister from her Mom's house! Hand in hand! 
Hah! What are the chances? 
Mark said as we were walking back home, "If 8 years ago, someone would have told me that my future daughter and Samantha's sister from her Mom's second marriage would walk hand in hand at a fashion show, I would have laughed in their face!" 

I wish finding clothes for me was as easy as it is for the girls. Miss Grace swears by and since she always looks so stylish, I headed over there to have a look. Well, ya know's a gold mine for awesome clothes, practically brand new and for super discounted prices! 
I hate jeans shopping. As most women that I have ever met, it takes HOURS to find the right pair, sometimes multiple trips. So when you do find that perfect pair you are tempted to buy every pair in sight! 
I have a favorite pair that I found at Marshall's last spring and I just found the same pair on Threadup for even cheaper! $100 jeans for $23 - the $10 coupon off my first purchase + $3 shipping = 
$16 for a duplicate of my favorite super pricey jeans. 
Good looking out Grace. Good looking out!

I love clothes. So much so that I studied Fashion in college. And I also love a good deal. When I started having kids, I discovered a whole underground world of consignment stores and sales. Jackpot! My favorite that I frequent is Once Upon A Child! I have found great outfits for all the girls and many gifts for nieces and nephews. They are all over the country and you should definitely check them out. I have yet to sell anything to them because we're not in the get rid of stuff phase of our life yet, but they seems to give fair prices. 

I also love free clothes. 
I grew up as the 6th of 6 and my entire wardrobe consisted of hand me downs and clothes out of bags given to my mom. Getting brand new clothes was rare and those pieces were treasured deeply. 
We are blessed to be surrounded by some very generous friends and family members who bring BAGS of clothes to our doorstep for the girls to have. 
Just HAVE! 
It saves us HUNDREDS of dollars every year! 

My girls are also spoiled rotten by some awesome aunts, particularly one of my sisters. She doesn't have kids and is extremely generous with all her nieces and nephews. 
She just recently sent my girls a few new fall pieces, but some of the sizes were wacky and we had to go exchange them. No biggie...

...or so I thought.

The Day Juliana Vomited in Sears:
 Juls love going to the mall. The play area for kids is her favorite place in the world aside from Bible Study and Aunt Donna's house. 
 Mark wasn't feeling well earlier this week so I thought, perfect, we'll get out of the house for a few hours, give him some time to rest! 
Then, Juls woke up complaining her tummy was upset.
This is not unusual.
As with most people, if you are under hydrated your bowels will have a hard time passing stuff through you.
We have this problem more times than I can count. 
I give her a cup of water and she sips it. Complaining of the "cramp" in her tummy.
I told her if she didn't poop, we wouldn't go.
Famous last words.
She didn't poop. We still went.
We should have stayed home.

We get to the mall and THANKFULLY I insisted that we do the exchange first and then we'd go to the play place.
So we go, pick out new sizes and head to the register. 
Well, there was only one register open on the whole floor and it was in the tool department.
Really, get it together Sears! 
We are standing in line, Juls is asking to get out of the stand part of the stroller but I insist that she stays in. 
The young, probably unwed, tool-department-working man calls me over to the register. 
I explain what I need. 
Juls gets out of the stroller, knocks over the sweater we were going to buy.
Get back in, I tell her.
No more than 5 seconds later
"Um, she's throwing up" 
I turn around, just in time to see round two happen in real time!
All. Over. The. Place.
Her. The stroller. The floor. 
E v e r y w h e r e

I seriously considered laughing at that point. 
I mumbled something like, 
"uh, she has never, ever, ever done something like this, let me just grab my stuff..."
Worker dude was like "I can't look or I'll throw up!" 
Man up DUDE!
I grabbed by old clothes, receipts and my phone and literally just walk out.
Juls was dazed and covered in vomit.
She kept muttering, "I'm so sorry momma. I'm so sorry I frew up."
She got stripped down to her unders in the parking lot.
God bless the inventor of Wet Wipes and thanks Holy Spirit for speaking to me on the way out:
"grab the bag of papers to be recycled! And save them for Bible Study tomorrow. Just drop them there!"

It was a terrible experience and I pray you never have to endure anything like it but, it's not the end of the world. 

By the way, Juls is feeling much better!

Happy Friday everyone! 


Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes (10)

I never have a theme...ah well...

Last Saturday, the mom's group I am apart of had a family picnic! It was the first of its kind but I am really hoping to make it an annual event. Usually when I see these women and their kids, it's when the dads are at work but what a joy it was to meet them, mingle and to see all the dads hanging out! I know this group of ladies is something special and I want so very much for our other halves to know each other! We had a great turn out for a Saturday, around 15 families came and everyone had a blast! 
My dare devil 10 month old scaled the kid-sized picnic table in 5 seconds flat to get a water bottle that had been left behind. This was after attempting to eat all the acorns and leaves on the ground. I can't wait til she can walk!

I'm in introvert. I can hold my own in a conversation and have no troubles in big crowds, but toward the end of parties or after a busy day, I hit a wall. 
I'm done.
Headache. Crankiness. Don't talk to me or I might bite your head off kind of wall.
I need to recharge
So, when I asked Mark if we could split Mass last Sunday and actually "be present" at Mass, he knew I need a little Jesus time to kick my butt back in gear.
And you know what, it was exactly what I needed! Prayer. Quiet. A fantastic, on point homily and...
a "quick" Target shopping trip afterward! 
I may have been gone longer than anticipated
I sent him this text after being gone for over 2.5 hours (including Mass)
I love him so much! Our sense of humor is the exact same! 

It's getting a little chilly here in the 'burgh and I've been trying to get all the winter clothes organized. Upon organizing, I found that both littles have a pair of overalls that currently fit them.
Juls insisted that they both wear them so they could be "twins"
cuteness overload. 
On Wednesday I had my first Bible Study session with an actual discussion and it was FANTASTIC! The Holy Spirit was rocking and rolling in our group! It's such a blessing to have a group of women from all walks of life to learn the Bible with. The Gospel of John is DEEP but as I was driving the other day, it hit me. I have studied other books of Bible, but this, this year I am going to be taking an in depth look into Jesus' life! To study His words, His works and His ways. I am excited to get to know Jesus better! 

One of the women in the group said something very profound, at least I thought so, that I'd like to share, mostly to get it onto "paper" so I don't forget it.
We were discussing how Jesus is the Word made flesh. And she said that few years ago she was meditating on this name for Jesus and it hit her (thanks Holy Spirit!)! All the years that God the Father sent prophets to His people, telling them how to live and follow His commandments so that they would be pleasing to Him. prophet after prophet, all the knowledge and wisdom that was poured into their hearts and  out to the people was the Word of God, but it was ignored. Pushed aside and people gave into sin, even the prophets that were speaking the Word were only human and also gave into sin.
Finally, God the Father decided, the make the Word into a human being so that not only was the Word being spoken, it was being lived in the person of Jesus Christ! The Word made flesh! 
Mind blown. I seriously love learning! 

Miriam is teething. 
 This is how we both feel about the whole situation. 
She had a fever for two days, a vomiting incident, major snoring action because of some congestion and some extra whining. She's been extra drooly and chewing on her fingers like crazy! Poor girl! 
There are a few times in the past couple days when she has been herself, playing and such
Retail therapy. It's good for the soul! 
Why must teething be so painful...and LONG!!! 

This is totally random but I think of it bc I have yet to shower's 2:14pm. 
I wish I had cute ponytail hair.
I don't. I also don't have cute 2nd day hair. 
A ponytail on some can look sleek, stylish or even sexy.
I look like a grease ball, gym rat without the gym rat physique. 
The running shorts and old college t-shirt don't help but hey, when you gotta rock a baseball cap bc your 10 month old will play in the toilet if you attempt to shower, gym clothes it is.
My fashion professors from college would have a field day with me.
So to all you sleek, sexy, stylin' ponytail wearers, count your blessings. 

Join all the other Quick Takers at!!! 
Happy FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I'm not sure how it happened, because I never did it as a child, but somewhere in the past 2 years of Juliana speaking, we have been saying "Hi Jesus!" to every Catholic church we pass.

We live in the 'burgh and there are A LOT of Catholic Churches...but the one we pass most of all is Samantha's school. Oh, you think, that's cause you take her and pick her up every other week. Nope, thank you Pittsburgh for busing private school kids with your public school buses! :) We pass said church because it's on the way to and home from Target.

We live at go to Target very regularly and when Juliana is not asking for directions on how to get to and home from our destination (it's her newest obsession "But Mommy, how we get there?...She's 2!), she is on the look out for Jesus.

On our way back from Target the other day, we pass the Church and I said "Juls, say hi to Jesus!"

HI JESUS!!!!!!!!

And then this happened.

Juls - Samantha, say hi to Jesus
Samantha -
Juls - Sam, say HI to Jesus!
Samantha - murmurs something under her breath
Juls - (really irritated by this point) Samantha! Say HI TO JESUS!!!
Samantha - I DID!
Juls - oh...I just didn't hear you. You should say it louder!

At this point, it hit me. This innocence that is still encompassing my sweet, sassy Juliana will leave her one day. She will begin to worry what people think of her love for Jesus. And that's Samantha at this point. She thought we were crazy saying Hi to Jesus, but ya know what? That's the example I want to set for her. I want her to know that Jesus is there, always and saying a casual Hi as you drive by is a good thing.

He is our friend. He is our Savior. He is our God. But he loves the innocence of a child. The unbroken trust that still lives in their hearts. The unquestioning love they possess to all they meet.

I hope that as they grow and enter into different stages in their lives, they can hold each other accountable in their relationship with the Lord. And if it starts with Juliana making sure Samantha says Hi to Jesus on our way home from Target, then that's how it's gotta be!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes...blogging hyatus over

So it's been a long time since I have sat down to write anything on the old blog...why, not sure. But, nothing like a Quick 7 Takes to get back in the swing of things

We are in full swing of fall activities - school, sports, Bible Study, CCD, planning birthdays and early Christmas shopping! Summer is a fantastic time of year but I do enjoy a schedule and I am realizing that so does Juliana. She is bored to tears, literally, when we aren't constantly on the move. I am not an extrovert and can not handle busy days daily. Which is why I am excited there's more going on now and that she begins preschool in a few weeks! :) 

Although Juls won't turn 3 until 10/22 (feast of Blessed JPII...pretty cool day!), she is able to attend the "preschool" offered at the local high school's child development program. I am certain she is going to LOVE it! Like, alot! She is extremely verbal, outgoing, a total people person and loves to play with anyone in a 1 foot radius! It's 3 days a week for about 10 weeks and it's only $30! Seriously, look into it for your kiddos...It's a total deal! 
I am concerned for next fall when she's almost 4 and is in the 3's class for actual preschool. I know we can cross that bridge when we get there, but I fear she will be again, bored to tears, and tempted to entertain herself in ways that will get her in trouble. 

Speaking of trouble, I am volunteering this year as an aide for 7th grade CCD. I have taught this grade before but my brain isn't in an shape to plan lessons weeks in advance and think of fun ways to teach 12 year olds about the faith. I hate doing things half-way and I know that's what it would be if I took on a whole class. 
Anyway...this week was the first week and HOLY HYPER children!!! Now, it was the first class and I am certain they were testing the waters to see how far they could push the teachers but let me 'splain something to ya'll: I am not a pushover. I don't put up with rude, disrespectful, talking while your talking, I know more than you behavior. You better check it at the door or we will be having words with the DRE and your Momma! 
Of course, it wasn't all the children and those who were actually participating made me appreciate being back in the classroom. But, I also prayed special prayers that night for those bad boys, their parents and their teachers. 
Things are gonna be changing in their life...

Another wonderful happening this week was the start of my weekly Catholic Scripture Study (i.e Bible Study). This is my 3rd year participating in CSS and I am super excited to learn more about the beloved disciple John and his Gospel. The best thing about CSS is the child care that is available!! For a minimal fee a sweet, more than qualified woman and another member CSS watch the kids so Mommas can deepen their knowledge of the faith!! :) 
Juls loves Bible Study and has been begging to go back since it ended in June and Miriam did wonderful her first week! 
It's such a blessing to have this in Pittsburgh! I need to continue to grow in my faith; for myself, my marriage, my children, my friends, my family.

Thursday evening I had the pleasure of hosting an Usborne book party! I believe I have mentioned these books before and I hope you are able to encounter them, especially if you have kids! They are engaging, fun, educational, and the selection is HUGE!! 
The book part being great was a given but I had advertised this a Brownie and Book party which meant I had been searching for weeks for the perfect recipes to bake for my party!
Here are the 3 I ended up using: 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip = Best Brownie I have ever made, possibly ever eaten! It was perfectly moist, but dense enough to have that "brownie" texture and not "cake" texture. If you can eat all the ingredients, make them! You will not regret it (but I advise you to make them and take them out of your house because you will want to eat the whole pan!)
Lemon "Brownie" Bars = Yummy non-chocolate option! I was excited to zest my first lemon and bake a lemon cake and top it with lemon icing. These "brownies" were lemony and delicious. I will say, the recipe calls for over 5 Tbs of lemon zest and only 2 lemons. Well, I don't know what kind of mamonth size lemons they were working with but I got about 2Tbs of zest for my 2 lemons. I just added a bit of extra lemon juice and let's just say, no one complained about the missing 'zest'!
Blondies = ehh...not the greatest but I'd be willing to make them again and make some (more) modifications. I added vanilla because, well, I found it odd that it didn't call for it and added butterscotch chips! I would take away a Tbs or so of butter because they were greasy and the baking time wasn't long enough. 
*I have no formal training as a baker. I do have years of experience with eating baked goods and I feel that helps to qualify myself as an expert in delicious baked goods!

Does anyone else thoroughly enjoy getting their hair washed at the salon? I love it. Love it! Like, if I ever won the lottery there isn't many frivolous things I feel like I would spend the money on, but I might consider weekly (okay, daily) head massaging/hair washing! So relaxing! 

I have the best husband, sorry ladies that you didn't score him. #sorrynotsorry
I know marriages go through waves, some rough, some exciting, sometimes we just ride the calm waters before a storm hits. While having a baby is certainly a huge blessing, I will say that the 10 or so months after each of our kids' births have been more of the  rough waves. Everyone is tired and adjusting to life all over again. And maybe it's just our marriage maturing and we are getting to know each other better. Maybe we are really making an effort to put the other first. 
I say all of this because not only am I beginning to appreciate all he does for our family but I am starting to voice my appreciation! And for all of you non-believers in the 5 Love Languages, I say, you're wrong! Mark is a clear "receives love through words and praise". And I am NOT a words person. I am not a touchy feeling, tell you all that's on my mind and how great you are. So it's a struggle for me, it's unnatural, to say the words but to see the way he blossoms with praise just makes me love him more! 

happy Saturday...sorry, a day late...sorry I've been gone for 3 weeks!