Saturday, January 31, 2015

Interview with Ben

I'm in a blogging rut due to a non sleeping baby, so i thought I would ask my oldest, Ben who is a month away from turning 5 some interview questions. These are what he came up with. Apparently the train blood still runs deep in this one, and his love of ice cream. 

1. What is your favorite color? 
2. What is your favorite toy? 
Blue Engines
3. What is your favorite fruit?
Apples and Bananas
4. What is your favorite tv show or movie? 
Cars and Clifford
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
6. What is your favorite game? 
7. What is your favorite snack? 
8. What is your favorite animal? 
9. What is your favorite song? 
The first song on the Frozen soundtrack
10. What is your favorite book? 
Read to Tiger
11. Who is your best friend? 
Bohdan and Big Liam
12. What is your favorite cereal? 
Honey Bunches of Oats
13. What is your favorite thing to do outside? 
Build Snowmans and Play in the Dirt
14. What is your favorite drink? 
Apple Juice
15. What is your favorite holiday? 
The holiday that I get to open up presents
16. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? 
17. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 
Peanut Butter Crackers
18. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? 
Cheeseburgers, Eggs, and of course noodles and of course some cake and ice cream
19. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A daddy
20. Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to. What are some of the things you would do?  I don't know
21. I am very proud because… pretending to be a gotcha
22. If I were President I would… say "Everybody just go outside in the woods."
23. I am afraid to ..."go in caves and have Santa come over."
24. Name one thing you do really well? Jumping
25. Describe what it means to be a good friend. Share
26. What is your favorite time of day? Gymnastics time
27. Describe your best day ever? Train days
28. Describe your favorite hobby. Eat Ice Cream
29. Climbing trees is… fun
30. What makes you feel sad? When my friends can't come over 
31. What makes you feel happy?  Seeing my friends
32. Pretend that you can fly whenever you wanted. Where would you go? To Big Liam's house
33. If I could choose a different name, I would choose…NoNose
34. Where do you want to go on vacation? to California
35. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom or Dad?Eat Ice Cream with you both

Interview questions via 5 Blogging Moms

Thursday, January 22, 2015

For Life

Today is the day that is always a hard one.  I can remember the second time I marched in the March for Life in DC and the suffering that was occurring at the same time. You see, I had just found out that I was pregnant not too long before I was set to go on the bus trip to the march.  But alongside the joy, I knew something wasn't right, I was bleeding.  As I went to the march my mind was a mess, but I carried on, maybe aloof, but nonetheless carried on, because I didn't want to process.  I had gone in for blood work a few times before and was awaiting results, though honestly I already knew them.  I just didn't want to accept it. I wanted this...a baby... to be pregnant.  So I kept it all in and marched, miscarrying a baby all the while. It sucked.

I was not in the place where I dealt with things at the time though, so on I went, sleeping on a hard gym floor with a bunch of teenagers fighting for life, miscarrying my first baby. I don't think I told a lot of people for a while, I just didn't.  Instead, a few months later, I bawled my eyes out at a mass where I knew no one except my husband and Jesus. It was so needed. I finally understood that I loved that tiny person that I never really even got to know.

So I wanted to say something profound about life, about people mattering, because they all do.  This baby that I barely knew that seemed to be doomed from the start did matter.  I may not have understood then anywhere close to what he or she meant, but he mattered. I think these experiences, the ones that a person doesn't fully process at the time do build our character. I think maybe this experience does say a lot about me, that I am full of fear, of appearing to be off centered or just not okay.  I'm working on that.

I have grown in my understanding of love since then, I don't think it means that I am any bit more okay than I was then.  But I think that I'm more okay with being vulnerable.  And that's kind of what love does, it makes us vulnerable.  And bringing another life into the world, that is vulnerability at its finest.  With this vulernability comes suffering and through that suffering we learn to love. Love is always worth it.  Life if always worth it.  And so we march, or march by proxy or just take a stand and a chance on love. The joy that love will bring is so much greater than we can imagine.

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Sheenazing Awards Nominee!!

Contranaut Girl was nominated in the Most Underappreciated Blog category.  Go and vote if you would like to for me or for other awesome blogs, there are so many to choose from and maybe you can just get some new reading material from it all. The awesome Bonnie of A Knotted Life is hosting these awards.  You can read more of her awesome story and about the awards on her blog

Sunday, January 18, 2015

WIWS, January 18, 2015

Hi all! Just a quick WIWS post for you all. Today I had to go to a baby shower pretty much right after mass, so I needed my outfit to be versatile but also mass worthy. So here it is:

Jacket: Clothing Swap
Shirt: Clothing Swap
Jeans: JC Penney
Shoes: Sanita
Babies: Homegrown

So basically most of this outfit was gotten from clothing swap parties, which I highly recommend if you want some new pieces in your wardrobe but cannot afford to shell out the cash. Plus you get fashion consulting and quality time with friends. Its really a win-win all around. And now for an outtake: 

Check out some more Sunday attire at Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Being Kind to Self

There's a crazy sea turtle Lake Erie Monster guy coming to get disheveled me! AHHH!

I'm going to be honest with you all. I don't shower everyday.  I just don't see the need to, plus its winter and there's this thing called eczema that shows up when I shower too much and I have curly hair that hates being over washed. I just don't need to shower every day so I don't.  I do still shower, its just not an every day thing.

For a lot of people showering is something that says that they are taking care of themselves. For me its other things, and I have been thinking about them because when it comes down to it I haven't been good about doing them regularly.  Maybe its winter, maybe its being the mom of 3 small kids, maybe its just me forgetting about me. Maybe its because this was the example I was given or just that I am lazy.  Whatever is the case, it has got to stop.

I need to take care of me. Because after all, and this is a big revelation guys, really, I am a person.  And those little people, while they are people too, they need to see me taking care of myself so that they can see how respect for oneself really comes about.  

To others, this can mean something different, but for me I think this means putting in contacts most days and dressing in an actual put together outfit.  No sweats or pajamas. And I'm going to go a little crazy here, but for me I also think it means putting a little flare with some make-up too.  Not crazy makeup, but guys I went to check out my one tube of mascara I had today, and guess what? It was all dried up.  Really.  So I carted everyone out to a store post library trip and bought some. When I went out for a girls dinner night tonight with a friend, I actually felt like a person.  A person!  

I have to do other things for me too, like well, exercising. My head functions better if I get out for a long walk or shorter run at least 3 times a week.  I also need to pray daily, and talk to one adult during the day, and eat healthily but those things are mostly routine now so I'm okay there, but they can fall off track due to illness and such so its good to remind myself of their need too.  

And here is the reason I think this is all important: Its because if I like me, the me I see in the mirror, and I am doing my best to be me, not pulling me apart unnecessarily, but actually taking care of myself, I think I can actually take on the day and have a fighting chance at enjoying the heck out ofmy kids and my vocation. God's grace is definitely still key, but I think if I don't even have all my cards in the ring to use the his grace, I'm going to struggle even more.  So today, today I started new, and well, I like it, I like it a lot. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hi there...grace and stuff

Oh hey. I have this thing called a blog.  I should write in it sometime.  Hi everyone!

Ninja upside, ack!

I'm recovering from a stomach bug, eating cereal and Panera baguettes as toast, because nothing else tastes good. I thought since I am currently able to sit up I could catch you up on life.

The new year brought some extra cold temperatures our way, which makes me never want to leave the house.  Because it's already not my favorite thing to buckle three kids into the car every time I go in and out of the car, when you do it at 15 degrees F, I just don't even want to try.  And there is the whole don't put a baby in their coat in the car seat thing.  I just keep thinking we live with a detached garage and its 15 degrees outside, how is that even possible to do?  I'm all for safety, but sometimes hypothermia wins out in my book in safety measures.

I'd been praying the Mary Undoer of Knots novena to get rid of some knots in my life and every single time I pray it something happens.  This time the most significant thing was that I went to a Moms Transmit the Faith meet up.  Though I've never been, I would kind of say its like a small version of MOPS.  The topic discussed at the meet up was grace. In the meeting grace was defined as, " a participation in the life of God" and I think that is according to the Catechism too. Well, you see, I have read books on grace and have had classes in college that talked about it, but for some reason in my state of being, I was struggling with it.  I couldn't figure out how grace applied to me in the here and now.  I know that sounds almost silly.  Because I should get grace, people use the word all.the.time. But somehow, I think that in this stage of 3 small kids that I just had to wallow.  I think now though if I keep thinking more on this line of thinking of grace, that God is there in me helping me through it, it may just be a little bit less overwhelming.  I don't think its gonna take away the screaming kids all at once, or the 3 yo being very three, but maybe it will help me to pause and think someone is here with me in my struggles and I can grow in grace through this.

The woman presenting this lesson talked about a cup of grace inside each one of us.  That we each have one, whether small or big.  With sacraments and such we keep adding to our grace cups and in each experience that calls on God's grace too.  I am probably totally wrong here, but I like to think that when we receive Jesus every week into our bodies, eventually if we let him break through our tough selves we will be full of Jesus.  I think I just realized how grace is helping me to do that more and more.

So anyway, those are my thoughts, I hope you all are having a good Tuesday and are keeping warm and healthy in this winter of yuck. Also did you see that the Pope was charitable towards breastfeeding mamas in church. I love being Catholic more and more each day. Cheers!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Meal Planning Post

I honestly am the most terrible meal planner now because I don't buy food in a normal manner.  We get a CSA and shop at the corner produce market and then supplement from a larger grocery store.  So we do usually eat healthily, but I tend to make whatever is on hand a lot. I decided that I would share last week's menu of meal planning because I can retroactively think but not future think when it comes to food.  So here goes.

Day 1: Noodles, Jarred Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs with a side of Butter Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

The one part I needed a recipe for here was the meatballs. I used the Betty Crocker Meatball Recipe.
The brussel sprouts I cooked in butter and added some Mitchell's Steak House seasoning from Penzey's Spices. For the noodles and sauce, they were boxed or jarred. I know, lame, but easy. :)

Day 2: Ham, Cabbage and Potato Skillet with tortilla chips and bought spinach artichoke dip

We get a lot of cabbage in our CSA. It grows well in NE Ohio. Ham, Cabbage, Potato Skillet from allrecipes is simple  and makes me like it more than normal because it gives it a nice flavor.  The added chips and dip helped fill out the meal for the kids.

Day 3: Pork, Sauerkraut and Mashed Potatoes and apple sauce

This is a New Years traditional meal for me. I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country and so its a must on January 1st. I actually didn't use a recipe for the pork and sauerkraut this time because I was lazy and just threw it in the crock pot with a bottle of beer and some spices and called it a day. It turned out okay, but next time I should probably look at a recipe. :) For the mashed potatoes, the recipe I usually follow is from Simply Recipes.

Day 4: Spelt Berry and Tomato Soup with Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

This one surprised me, two out of my 3 children really liked it and it was full of veggies. We got a bunch of spelt berries from the CSA and last time we had them I didn't really use them well.  This time I found a recipe for things I had on hand from Whole Foods found here.  I didn't have kale, because I had already used it in a morrocan stew the week before, so I subbed it out for napa cabbage and it worked really well.  For the toasted cheese sandwiches, we were low on butter, so i subbed out the butter for frying with coconut oil. They were pretty yummy.

Day 5: Take Out - For the day I just can't pull dinner together

Day 6: Left overs - There is usually at least a dinners worth of planned excess from other meals.

Day 7: Kielbasa Sausage, Beer Bread and Chopped Raw Carrots with dip

My children usually gravitate towards raw veggies, so instead of cooking the carrots, I leave them raw.  The sausage is just pan seared and heated, since it is already cooked. Beer bread is a favorite in this house and is really easy to make. I love it because it doesn't require yeast which can sometimes be hit or miss. The recipe I use is found on here.

And there you have it a week of meals of what we eat.  We don't eat take out every week, but sometimes its a must for those rough or busy days.  It can get expensive though if we aren't careful.  Happy meal planning!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year Questions!

Helena's godmother, Emily, tagged me in a post. It seemed like fun, so I figured why not answer the questions. Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Four names that people call me:
1. Kiera
2. Mama
3. Miss Kiera (my dad does this probably why H is Miss H)
4. Love 
Four jobs I have had:
1. Tutor of chemistry and physics
2. Undergrad chemistry lab TA
3. Assistant Manager at a restaurant in Hershey Park
4. NASA intern making BN nanotubes
Four movies I have seen more than once:
1. Cars
2. Flight of the Navigator
3. Pretty in Pink
4. Charlie Brown's Christmas
Four books I’d recommend: 
1. The Anne of Green Gables Series
2. The Women of Lancaster County Series
3. Something Other Than God
4. The Narnia Series
Four Places I’ve Lived:
1. Jackson, TN
2. Shippensburg, PA
3. Sacramento, CA
4. Cleveland, OH
Four Places I Have Been:
1. Anchorage, AK
2. Leon, Nicaragua
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Seattle, WA
Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now:
1. Asleep
2. At adoration
3. Sledding
4. Shopping but awake without children
Four Things I Don’t Eat:
1. Cooked carrots
2. Liver
3. Bologna
4. Buffalo Sauce
Four of My Favorite Foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Bananas
3. Cheese
4. Orange Juice
Four Things I’m Looking Forward to This Year:
1. My friend from college getting married
2. Our trip to NYC
3. Having a baby break
4. Soccer in the spring
Four Things I’m Saying:
1. OK
2. Could you say that again nicely
3. I need to go for a walk.
4. Please wait. 
Four People I’m tagging: