Monday, August 25, 2014

One. Her year in pictures

                                                 Newborn                            5 minutes later

It's amazing to me just how much can change in a year. One minute she can barely keep her eyes open and the next minute, she's got pigtails. Pigtails! I love scrolling through her pictures and seeing the changes happen all over again.

In one year, she's taken three trips to the beach, been on quite a few planes, taken several road trips to Charlotte NC and Washington, DC and puttzed around on a jet ski once. She's developed her own little gorilla crawl to make up for our hardwood floors and recently has started walking behind toys. To communicate, Lucy employs an impressive range of growls. She can say three words: "Dada" "Mama" and "Hi" and LOVES to "read" out loud to us in baby gibberish (oh yes, there is a video. And lucky you will get to see it soon!).

Lucy is such a busy baby. She's curious and friendly and has no fear. If you have food in your hand, you've become her new best friend. She can go up the slide and down the stairs like a boss. There's no stopping her now!

Want to take a scroll down memory lane with me?


First Bath!













Saturday, August 2, 2014

7 Random Questions from my friend, Carm

I've got the worst worst worst case of blogger's block going on right now. I have all these ideas, I write them down, sometimes I even hand write a rough draft of a post in my journal. Yet, as soon as I sit down to type a post? *poof*. Gone. Any desire to write about what merely hours ago I was excited about flees to the darkest corners of my unswept house.

Carm gave me seven random questions to answer in a blog post though, which is perfect for a last minute 7 quick takes link up!

1. If I was an ice cream flavor, I would be....what?...because....why?

If I were an ice cream flavor I'd probably be vanilla, but I'd want to be something much more exciting, like green tea or Ample Hills "The Munchies". That's kind of how I go. On the outside, I'm a tattoo-less, rule-abiding, vanilla woman and on the inside I'm a totally inked, rainbow-haired, wild child. Or so I like to think. At 25, I'm still working on how to be me as authentically as possible.

I miss my blue hair.

2. What was your first Halloween costume? What was your favorite Halloween costume?

It is unfortunate that I don't have a picture of the first Halloween costume I remember. In elementary school, I was OBSESSED with the show "I dream of Jeannie". It was on Nick at Night, along with The Brady Bunch, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Happy Days. Those were the days of good programming. 


I begged my grandmother to make me a genie costume just like Jeannie's. And she did! Complete with the hat and useless veil. I was cold, but too excited to care. Over the years, I've dressed up as Alice in Wonderland, a sleepy toddler (adult sized footie pajamas. yesyes), a [slutty] witch from Hogwarts, and various other generic costumes, and I think my Jeannie one is still my favorite, mostly because of how excited I was to be just like Jeannie.

That was also the year that I insisted on going to school dressed like The Fonz and was so upset that no one got the reference. Lame 5th graders.

3. If I turned into an animal, I would be....what?....because....why?

I've spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking about this question over the years, believe it or not. I would totally be a cat. I feel like I get cats, you know? They want to be acknowledged and loved but not smothered. They need their space but they need to know that you're still there too. I feel like cats are the readers of the animal world. They would absolutely have their books with them while they lay in that sunny spot on the back of the couch if they could.

4. Today Lucy behaved more like me/Ryan because....why?

Oh Lucy. She's a blast to spend every day with. She's incredibly social, adventurous, and stubborn. So, she's exactly like Ryan. All day, every day. 

Today she was really cuddly but willing to play independently, which is something she has been resisting for a while. Of course, there is always a price to pay for independence. I was thrilled to be able to make dinner in peace, only to come out to the living room to find that she had completely emptied a full container of wipes onto the floor. She was incredibly proud of her accomplishment. I couldn't help but smile and laugh with her. It could have been waaaaay worse and my floor needs to be mopped anyway. She's such a good helper.

5. If I had a time machine, I would travel forwards/backwards in time because...why?

If I had a time machine, I would move forwards AND backwards because what good would a time machine be if you couldn't do both? I'd go back first because it just seems like the right thing to do. Start at the beginning and work my way up. I'd mostly want to travel forward for investment purposes. Which stocks would be worth it? What will happen to Berkshire Hathaway? I like to think I'd stay away from looking into future personal matters. Because what if I don't like what I see? What would I do? Change my present? What if changing my present is what causes the future distress I saw? That's just a rabbit hole I can't afford to get sucked into.

6. What is the best Italian restaurant in your town?

There is this really cool NY pizzeria, which is the closest to "italian restaurant" Ryan and I have gotten to besides Olive Garden in the two years we've been here. But we did just discover a really awesome Mexican restaurant down the street so...

7.  Are you willing to answer 7 random questions again?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Answer Me This, Vol. 1

Every Sunday, Kendra hosts a round of Answer me This, the internet's favorite virtual cocktail party. I've finally decided to stop being a wallflower and rub elbow's with the other party goers, as it is.

1. How did you get your name?

The same way every Kayla born in the 80's did. My mom was an avid "Days of Our Lives" fan and Kayla and Patch were THE 'it' couple. So, naturally when my mom found out she was having a girl, she knew she'd name me after one of the most popular stars on daytime TV. Give her a break, she was 19.
My middle name is Leigh and that is also my uncle Kevin's middle name, whom my mom was closest to growing up.
When my brother Brad was in 2nd grade, he actually did have to wear a patch over one eye. My mother was giddy I tell you.

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

I'm working on it. Every morning, Lucy and I sit down for breakfast and I read the morning offering out of her little Golden Book of Prayers. We just started this about a month ago and more days than not, we (I) remember. I'd like to add in The Angelus at lunch time. Mostly though, it's pretty sporadic. I like to sing hymns while I'm cleaning (currently working on memorizing How Deep the Father's Love for Us.  Um, did you know that Owl City does a version of this?? Love them.) and I have a rosary in the pocket of the nursery rocking chair for those extra long nursing sessions.

I'd love to pray at least one Hour and I am downright awful at getting in "quiet time" with my bible and Jesus. AWFUL. It's one of those things that I always say to myself "Kayla, today, you're going to have a quiet time" and then it never ever happens. I think I make it bigger in my mind than it needs to be. Like, when I sit down with my bible, I need to have my Catechism and various guides, plus colored pencils because ain't no bible study like a manuscript bible study, right?

3. Did your mom work, or stay home, or both?

Both, in their time. When it was just my brother and I, my mom worked full time. Once my mom started on her next round of babies, she stayed home because that made sense. She's been home ever since.

4. Do you vote?

Yes. Well. yes, but not often enough. I'm fairly oblivious and even though there were those pointless roadside signs littering the streets, I didn't realize that North Carolina was holding an election for anything in May until I heard someone talk about voting the day of. Oops. But I have voted in the last 2 presidential elections, which was about as useful as hoping to catch a goldfish in the ocean, but at least I can say I voted conscientiously. This is another one of those areas where I'd *like* to be more active and knowledgeable. Let me just fit that between folding laundry and changing diapers.

5. What's your favorite drink?

Non-alcoholic? In the morning, I prefer black tea with a lot of milk. Water is my go-to daytime drink, and I try to have at least one green, kefir based smoothie. But the drink that I reach for on special occasions? Sparkling white grape juice. It's what my mom would let us have on New Year's eve, when everyone else was drinking beer and it's just stuck with me as a "special" drink even though I'm perfectly old enough to enjoy a good beer.

Alcoholic? Anything with sugar, pretty much. The less it tastes like alcohol, the more I like it. I only started liking beer during my pregnancy. I actually craved beer and cigarettes at one point. While I didn't indulge the smoking craving (where did that even come from?! I don't smoke but once every other year or so and only cloves. I've had one tobacco cigarette in my whole life), I did sip from Ryan's beer. Guinness, so good. Lucy has good taste. Since then I've been opening up to other beers: Leinenkugel mostly but also Yuengling and whatever else my husband puts in front of me. He's finally not embarrassed to drink with me in public.

6. How are your photography skills?

Horrid. We have a DSLR which I use pretty much like a point and click. Just add "learn how to use my camera" on to my to-do list, please. Ryan did teach me about the "rule of thirds" so I try to remember that but it's safe to say I will never even pretend to be a professional photographer.

Ryan is really great at photography, if you will allow me to brag for him a bit. He's going to hate me for this, but I still like to go to his old Deviantart page and look at his pictures. I wish he'd still pursue photography as a hobby and not just photographing Lucy, though she is a very fun subject.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I can teach NFP!!

Technically, I am in my supervised practicum stage but the statement is still true:

I can teach NFP!!!!

So, if you or someone you know is interested in learning the Sympto-Thermal method of NFP, I'm your lady. From the Sympto-Pro website (the organization I am certifying through):

"No longer “guess work,” SymptoPro™ Fertility Education is an effective, scientifically based method of Natural Family Planning that treats fertility as a normal, healthy process. SymptoPro™ is a Sympto-Thermal Method of Fertility Education based on changes in a woman’s cervical mucus, waking or resting temperature, and cervix. These observable signs change in response to the hormones of the menstrual cycle. It only takes seconds a day for a woman to track her fertility; then the couple interprets the chart and makes a decision based on their family planning intention. SymptoPro™ works through periodic abstinence during the method-defined fertile time for couples who are avoiding a pregnancy. SymptoPro™ can be used effectively throughout a woman’s entire reproductive life. Regular cycles are NOT required. SymptoPro™ is NOT Calendar Rhythm."

I can teach online or in person (if you are in the Raleigh, NC area). Email me at: and we can talk details!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

20 things that make me smile

I'm a list maker. If there is a scrap of paper and some writing utensil near me, I'm going to make a list. I make lists of lists. I don't even have to cross anything off the list, just writing it makes me feel better.

So I have lists of possible blog posts written out, but no drafts. When Gina told me yesterday that I was tagged in a post to make a list, I thought "Hallelujah! I can totally" do this!" Bonus: It really made me smile, thinking about alllll the things I love and am grateful for. There were so many more than 20, but I had to stop somewhere.

20 Things That Make Me Smile

1. Watching Ryan and Lucy play together.

2. A warm cup of tea with plenty of milk in the morning.

3. Stepping out on my patio and breathing in the heady smell of fresh cut grass and roses in bloom.

4. Lucy's new (only) tooth. The kid is obsessed with it and it makes me smile to watch her little tongue twist and turn over the pearly white nub.

5. Reading good books.

6. Homemade cookies.

7. Celebrating with friends.

8. My new blender! And the Margarita Monday's now to follow :)

9. Successfully transferring Lucy down onto her crib mattress for her nap.

10. Throwing things away/giving things away. Seriously. I hate cleaning and getting rid of things is the perfect solution! For my birthday yesterday, we cleaned out my husband's closet plus two 18 gallon bins. The result? Two empty 18 gallon bins that will be put to better use (baby clothes), one trash bag full of clothes and two plastic sets of drawers that went to the Goodwill. Freedom.

11. Lucy's babbles.

12. Reorganizing.

13. Trips anywhere with Ryan.

14. The Little Free Library near our home.

15. Exploring the world with Lucy.

16. Quality homilies.

17. Creating something, anything.

18. Quiet moments.

19.  Ryan's enthusiasm for the NHL free agency. It just started today [at noon] and dude is OBSESSED.

20. Warm, clothes-sticking-to-you weather, perfect for being in the pool.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Welcome to the Family, Lucy!

Two weeks ago, Lucy was baptized! 

 Lucy and Daddy

 The whole family!

 Lucy with her Madrina (Godmother) Xhonane and Padrino (Godfather) Miguel

It was a beautiful ceremony celebrated in a private chapel in the Church with 6 other families. I must say, now I understand why baptizing newborns makes sense from a practical standpoint. Lucy had juuuuust entered her screaming phase and trying to get her to peacefully accept water being poured over her head was...unsuccessful. But it happened!

Welcome to the family, Lucy!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

On the road to Minimalism

I think I'm addicted to getting rid of things. I just hate cleaning that much, that I'd rather not own things which need cleaned. We used to just donate everything small to Goodwill and only sell that "big" things, but I've decided that since I rarely have the car to make Goodwill donation trips, I'd rather try selling our things first.

I think I've joined every single Buy/Sell/Trade group for my area on Facebook. I know it probably sounds crazy, but I get a little thrill whenever I list something for sale in these groups. Knowing that there is one more empty spot in my house is priceless.

But why? Well, when I realized that I was starting to feel like our home was too small for the three of us, I thought "this is NOT right". It just so happened that I also recently started listening to The Art of Simple podcast and reading simple living/minimalist blogs. A few days ago, Tsh interviewed Joshua Becker about minimalism and it was just the kick that I needed to jump in feet first!

I don't know exactly what minimalism will look like for us yet. It's a day-by-day thing. I started with simplifying my wardrobe. Next, I'm moving on to what's in our closets. Right now I'm only getting rid of things we clearly have no use for anymore. The hard part will come when we start paring down those things that we use but possibly have too much of or those things that we want to use, someday. I know that I have a nasty habit of attaching a lot of sentimental value on to items. Generally, I know exactly who gave me what, when, in my home and I can't ever imagine getting rid of it. But then I also think of all the things that I've given over the years - I can't even remember half the gifts (well, the epic fails I remember, but that's another story for another day) so it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if I walked into the home of a dear friend and didn't see anything that I had given her. So why do I think others would be hurt if I no longer own gifts?

What about you? Do you enjoy decluttering? Or maybe you've already got a neat, tidy home. Tell us your secrets, please!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...