Friday, March 30, 2012

QOTW: March 30, 2012

"Havin' fun, Momma!"
We got a new Bob stroller this week so we can take the boys for walks down our long, bumpy road.  Carter has never been much of a stroller fan, but apparently this one has changed his mind.

"Happy Birt-day to me"
For some reason Carter has been saying this lately...though we're two months from his actual birthday.

"Dood mornin, Tarter"
Carter says this now (in a high pitched voice - somehow I believe he might be mimicking me) when we go to get him out of bed in the mornings.

"Free blind mice", "Itty bitty spider", "Woah boat" or "Faywoah (Pharoh)"
quickly followed by, "Do it, Daddy!"
Carter has been really into singing lately.  However, he only sings the first line and then wants us to sing the rest.  We were driving home from Amarillo a few days ago, and Carter started excitedly yelling "Faywoah" from the back seat.  When we finally figured out what he was saying (after he included some of his Egyptian hand movements), we started singing the song; and as we neared the end, he'd shout, "Again, again!"  Well, Jeremy wasn't singing quite as loud and enthusiastically as Carter preferred, so Carter started yelling, "Do it, Daddy!"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Natural Family Planning: What it Is...

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an important aspect of our livesand something both Jeremy and I wholeheartedly believe in, so I've decided to write a series on it.  I will touch on what it is, what the Church teaches, statistics and research, and why we practice it.

So for the first installment...What Natural Family Planning is (and what it is not):
(most of this information can be found in Father Frank Pavone's Brochure - Birth Control and NFP - What is the Difference?)

NFP is a natural way to recognize when ovulation occurs, based on direct observations of various signs that occur in a woman's cycle.  The observations take a matter of seconds to make and work for even irregular cycles.  NFP is not only basically cost-free, it is practical and extremely effective for both preventing and achieving pregnancy.

According to Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning, "NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of a child.  By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife."

Because it does nothing to work against conception, NFP is not a contraceptive.

A few other things about NFP:

1.  NFP does not separate the love-giving and life-giving aspects of God's design for marriage.  While not every marital act must/will result in a child, it must nevertheless be open to the possibility of life.  An act remains open to life as long as the couple does nothing to close that openness.  Therein lies the difference between contraception and NFP: with contraception, one does something (takes a pill, uses a condom, etc) to deliberately close the live-giving power of the marital act.  In NFP, no such step is taken.

2.  Using NFP requires abstinence during a woman's natural cycle of fertility if a pregnancy is to be avoided.  When spouses know that they can abstain for good reasons (just like one would abstain if the other was sick, travelling, fatigued, etc), they also come to avoid the risk of treating each other primarily as objects of pleasure rather than persons. 

3.  NFP puts the responsibility for family planning squarely on the shoulders of both husband and wife, requiring cooperation and communication. 

Is it the rhythm method?  No.  Is it the Catholic form of birth control?  No.  NFP is a natural practice acknowledging God's place in love and marriage, resting upon self-control, inner freedom, respect, trust and unconditional love...all the while encouraging openness to life.

For great talks and materials, visit One More Soul.
And for an incredible article, check out: Janet Smith

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Last Few Days...

We experienced a first this that I was not looking forward to.  On our way to Amarillo on Friday, Carter got carsick.  He threw up, not once, but three times.  And there was nowhere to stop until we got to MiMi's house.  God bless the little guy.  Once he was out of the car, all was well, and he hit the ground running.  We then decided to disregard the pediatric recommendations and turn Carter's carseat around.  Here's to hoping that, and a little more air, will prevent another disaster in the car!

The rest of our weekend consisted of going to Mass, eating with the grandparents and spending Sunday resting.  What a glorious few days with family!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fun Day with Friends...

Allow me to introduce you to Eli, the hunter...

This little guy is as energetic and fun-loving as they come.  And, he's Carter and Peter's new friend!  Eli's mommy and I were college friends, and since she and Eli were passing through our hometown, they decided to spend the day (and night) with us. 
What fun the boys (and moms) had!  Eli showed Carter his "big gun" (pictured below) which Carter was dying for.  They went hunting, played in Thomas the choo choo tent, drove the mule, collected a few rocks, ate brownies, protected Peter, and even watched a little Charlie Brown.  There wasn't a dull moment, and the boys were instant buddies (something that always makes a mom proud).  Their time playing allowed a college friend and I to catch up on the last three years. 

Carter learning how to use a shotgun...

After a hard day's play work, the boys needed some time in the tub...

The day ended with Jeremy reading the boys a bedtime story...

What a blessing a friend is :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peter: 5 months

Peter turned five months old on Saturday.  I am sure I will say this a thousand or more times, but it is going by way too fast!  I thought Carter's first year was fast; it doesn't even begin to compare to Peter's.  Although I would like time to slow down, I do love the little moments so very much and am thankful for each new day.  Being Carter and Peter's mom is the greatest blessing, and I thank God daily for trusting these two little souls to us for the time being!

A little bit about Peter at this age:

Weighs about 17 pounds.
Is about 27 inches long.
Wears anything from 6 month to 12 month clothing.
Drinks 5 bottles/day equalling almost 37 ounces of formula with added rice.
Eats (has tried) green beans, peas, avocados and squash.  I didn't say "eat" because he would rather laugh and spit the food everywhere when we try to feed him.
Is still on Zantac and is still spitting up a ton.
Rolls over both ways, although infrequently.
Laughs a lot.
Smiles all the time.
Takes a 1-2 hour nap after every feeding during the day (4) and goes down for the night after a 6:30 feeding.
Wakes between 5:30 and 6:30 every morning.
Doesn't like a pacifier.
Sucks on the two middle fingers of his left hand or his right thumb to go to sleep.
Doesn't like being swaddled.
Loves when people talk to him.

If I only had one word to describe Peter at this point, it would be joyful.  He has got a grin that is contagious, with a deep dimple in his left cheek, and he loves to smile!  He does not need much...really just a bottle of milk and a lot of love.  Peter is a cuddler (something we prayed for since Carter is not).  With that comes many sweet moments of hugs, holding and smiles.  It has also meant that he has had a more difficult time being alone, especially alone in his crib.  So, he slept through the night (11ish hours) consistently at almost four months (about a month later than Carter).  And he is a much lighter sleeper!  Beyond that, he makes us feel as though we are his whole world when we are around, especially when he has our undivided attention.  Even with the sleep mishaps, we are incredibly grateful for such a sweet, sweet boy.

First, a comparison of Carter and Peter at 5



More Peter...


And, soothing himself to sleep...

Friday, March 16, 2012

QOTW: Father Barron

"See Fah Bob!" (See Father Bob!)

My sweet sister, aka RoRo, does amazing work for a Catholic nonprofit organization called Word on Fire, whose global aim is to draw people into or back to the Catholic faith.  The head of the organization is a brilliant priest by the name of Father Robert Barron.  In conjunction with his staff and a video production team, he recently released an incredible documentary series and study program called The Catholicism Project.  Via his website, he offers faith clips, sermons, responses to current media stories, blog posts and a host of other information!  Catholic or not, this organization is a light for all...doing the work of Christ with fervent humility and grace.

I have a certain 21 month old who adores Father Barron...ADORES him.  Receiving an iPad for Christmas (me, not Carter), all he has wanted to do is, as the quote says "See Fah Bob."  When he wakes up, when he sees his dad or me on the iPad, when he hears the Word on Fire music, when he sees another's all about Father Barron.  So, I found a little stuffed priest for him yesterday whose real name is Juan Pablo (Wee Believers).  Carter immediately thought it was Fah Bob.  So, Fah Bob has become a part of daily activities.  He ate a toaster strudel with Carter this morning, and he then held Carter's milk.  Finally, Carter patted him on the back, only to knock him over...Father, forgive him.

A morning in the life of a Catholic child... 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just a Couple of Pics...

There is not a whole lot new going on here.  Last night we celebrated my grandmother's 82nd birthday with hotdogs from Chicago (Portillos).  I just pray I am as spry and together as she is when I get there.

Here is Carter, eating his favorite thing of the evening...pickles.  This might have been his fourth...

And here's Peter being his peaceful self after a bath...

God bless!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Quotes of the Week (QOTW)...

Since Peter cannot do much more than cry in terms of communicating, QOTW weekly posts will be dominated by Carter for quite some time.  Without further adieu...

"Way doh PeePee"
("Way to go, Peter")
I was loading both boys in the car to go feed cattle with Jeremy, and I bonked Peter's head on the door frame.  Carter saw it and started reprimanding me.  I asked him to calm down and explained that Peter was fine and that he didn't even cry.  He then looked over at Peter (PeePee) and shouted the above.

"PEEPEE, thas nuf"
("Peter, that is enough!")
Peter has been going through an extra long growth spurt, and has been waking at 3 am for a few weeks.  Well, one night morning last week, Peter was on a roll and cried/screamed for at least an hour.  Little did we know it had woken Carter up until we heard the above yell.

"All done, Fada"
Toward the end of Father's homily in Mass last weekend, Carter was getting a bit restless, and I assume he thought Father was dragging on a bit.  So, he let him know it was time to wrap it up.  Luckily we were in the cry room!

Brothers (almost 5 and 21 months)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

As it plays out...

At almost 21 months old, Carter is truly a joy to be around.  He knows he is funny and tries hard to crack people up.  He genuinely loves his baby brother and has never even remotely hurt him.  On most occasions he plays well by himself, and there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't tell us "i luh lou" several times.

However, as of late, he has found a way to let us know when he isn't happy.  It typically goes something like this:

1.  He lets out a little yell

2.  He violently shakes his hands

3.  He covers his face.

And then all is right with the world again. 

Yesterday, Carter was suited up to go help his Daddy (his best friend) with chores outside (his favorite place).  I thought it was the perfect time to get a snapshot of his new Sperrys that Mimi gave him.  Bad idea, Mom.  I was deterring him from his outside adventure.  Said fit commenced.

Oh the adventure of parenting :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

And We're Back...

It isn't news to anyone that I lack a little (or a lot) of discipline when it comes to writing a blog. Nonetheless, I am trying it again. Hoping to document memories, have a place for new recipes and share bits of information that I have found helpful, The Fisk Files have resurfaced.

Helping contribute to all of that are my two special helpers:

Peter Wallin

Carter Thomas

Until next time...