Currently…

I’ve seen other bloggers do a variation of what they are currently up to, so I thought I’d do the same thing since often it doesn’t fit anywhere else.

WishingforSpring

Reading

I’m currently reading a couple of books right now. I just finished The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, and I’m still reading Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules, as well as starting up The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. I’m addicted to Call the Midwife on PBS, so it only makes sense that I read Jenny’s memoirs. As for the other books… The Dovekeepers was a good read – a long one, though. Considering how little time I have to read it took me a while to get through since it was over 500 pages.  I’ve always enjoyed Alice Hoffman’s books, though, and this one was good despite being a tad depressing.  We’re also trying to learn how to better manage toddler tantrums, and are doing our best to incorporate some of Jo’s tips from her book into our lives in the hopes that it will make a difference.

Watching

The usual line up: ‘The Neighbors’ and ‘Parenthood’ and ‘Call the Midwife,’ which I’m very excited about.  It’s such a good show with a great cast, and really touching storylines.  I love the historical aspect of the show, as well as the characters, and I’m interested in seeing how the show compares to the book(s).

As for movies… we’ve watched a handful lately, including ‘Frozen.’  I really enjoyed it for the most part, especially the nice Disney plot twist. It was refreshing to see them let go (no pun intended) of the standard love equation they’ve been using since the beginning. I did think there was a tad too much singing, however, and they could have done without a few songs which felt more like fluff and filler than necessity.  We (or rather I) have decided we should watch some of this year’s Oscar nominated films, so the first up was ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ We may be some of the only people who didn’t think this was Best Picture worthy. The acting was phenomenal, without a doubt, but it was way too long and the ending just left us… meh. The whole movie was just… meh, with a really great cast.

One movie that didn’t disappoint was ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’  The plot is good, it’s got some fun surprises, and it’s pretty much awesome.  Go see it.

Eating

A lot of fruits and veggies due to participating in my office’s “Score More!” challenge, which is challenging everyone to eat more servings of fruits and veggies.  Supposedly there is a reward at the end, which admittedly is a nice motivating factor, but I’m also trying to slowly get more fit and toned since it’s been almost 5 months since Phoebe was born and I’d really like to change my shape a bit. Now if only I could find more time to actually work out.  Priorities, priorities.

Loving

The change in the weather!  Josh was able to get our new picnic table put together since our old table only had two chairs, so now we can eat outside on warm days as a family, and have more seating outside in general, which is always nice. I’m looking forward to making it a relaxing space on our deck with some potted plants and some salad veggies.  We’ll have more veggies in the actual yard, but I don’t always want to go downstairs for fresh veggies for dinner.  I think we’ve all been in a better mood with the warmer weather, and Enzo has been thoroughly enjoying running around outside.

Thinking About

A little bit of everything, really.  Mostly I think about the weather and gardening and what I’d like to do outside. I have so many ideas, but alas, they all take money and time, and I don’t have a lot of either. ;)  Most I’m sure could be done cheaply, but the time thing is still an issue. Being a parent certainly means you never have a lack of things to do, that’s for sure. It gets easier, though.  I don’t necessarily like using the TV as a babysitter, but Enzo is at the point now where he’ll sit through almost an entire movie (like Frozen), which is so helpful when I just need some time to get a few things done.  I know it’ll get easier/harder as Phoebe gets older too.  On the one hand she’ll be less bored once she can sit on her own and then crawl, but on the other hand that could also mean I need to watch them both more carefully. Phoebe and I are both getting more use out of our carrier, though.  I was ecstatic when she fell asleep in it over the weekend. It’s so helpful to have both hands free when she wants/needs to be held. Now if only I could talk Enzo into letting me wear him on my back rather than trying to balance him on my hip. He gives a pretty vehement “No” when I suggest it, though. Alas…

5 Months

Where to begin?  I don’t want to sound nauseatingly mushy, but our little Phoebe is beyond sweet and I just want to squish her constantly.

 AfternoonSun

At 5 months old, she is a rolling champ; however she is not always a fan of being on her tummy.

She loves her mobile and will happily smile and kick away in her crib when you turn it on, which is helpful in the morning when she and her brother get up early and we’re rushing around trying to get everyone ready for the day.

 Lovelylady

She has an infectious laugh when you’re lucky enough to hear it, otherwise her gummy grins are just as enjoyable.

We’ve been working on sitting, but she’d much rather stand and skip that process all together.  She has also been trying to work out the mechanics of crawling, but has some work to do.

SayWhat

Bath time is one of her favorites and she’s even squirmier than her brother was.  We discovered the best way to bathe her is to fill the tub about an inch or so with water and lay her down on a bath mat so she can kick and splash to her little heart’s content.

Uzi approves of her, however, I think her herbal lotion might have something to do with that.  Either way, it’s kind of cute watching him head-butt her and at night he’ll curl up between us and often have a paw on her arm.

 UziPhoebe

She’s a happy and mild tempered girl with wide eyes that see everything and take it all in.

 Justusgals

My little, Phoebe, you truly are a bright and shining light.

Friday Fun Day!

Or it would be more fun if I could do whatever I wanted with my day. Oh well.  How about some fun videos and links in the meantime?

I fully agree with this list of things we should stop doing to ourselves.

This yummy yellow cake sounds perfect for when you just want a delectible, classic cake.

Weekly Prompt – Beliefs

I am once again participating in Sometimes Sweet’s weekly journal prompts, and this week the prompt is:

Would you consider yourself a religious person? Quite simply- what do you believe happens when you die? Have you always believed this? Do your current beliefs align with what you were taught as a child? And if not, what was the turning point? This week, talk about your religion or spiritual beliefs (or perhaps your lack of), and try to sum up, if you can, what you believe happens “next.”

Who knew broccoli was so delightful when it flowered? Apparently this guy!

There are few topics that make me really uncomfortable discussing, but religion is undeniably one of those.  A person’s spiritual choices are their own, and I respect that no matter what they may be.  Would I consider myself a religious person? Not really.  Do I know what happens when we die? Not a clue. Sometimes I wish I had blind faith, though, as I can see how being religious and a part of a religion would give so many people some sort of comfort.  However, I am filled with uncertainties.

Without going into great detail or specifics, I did grow up in a mostly religious household.  When my parents divorced, only one household remained in that same faith, but it was a still a part of my upbringing to a certain extent. While I didn’t always see the value in some of the teachings when I was younger, I do value and appreciate many of the moral and ethical lessons that I learned. That being said, my current beliefs (which are still undecided) do not really align with what I was taught as a child. I don’t see myself as ever being a part of a religious organization mostly because I’m not sure I’d ever find a religion that suited me, but also because I’ve seen the negative effects organized religion can have on groups of people and would have trouble dealing with the hypocrisy that often seems so prevalent – or at least was in the area I lived in.

I knew from a very young age that I wouldn’t follow the same path that I was raised in.  I can’t remember all of the specifics of the day, but I do know it was on a Sunday and as I sat and listened (I must have been 8 years old) there was a moment when something didn’t add up to me. Whatever was being said and accepted by everyone around me, left me uneasy and with questions that went unanswered. So, I continued on… keeping the peace in my family and avoiding being baptized because I couldn’t live a lie, and ultimately becoming more and more alienated from that part of my life, which also meant becoming estranged from some family members.  I could have easily gone along with it all and gotten baptized and done what so many other kids were doing – living a different life behind closed doors, but I didn’t want to be a hypocrite and had to remain true to who I was.

I truly cannot say definitively what I believe in or what happens after we die. I cannot say with certainty that it is the absolute end, but I also cannot say that there is something more.  It’s rather fitting that this prompt came up this week as Josh and I were having a conversation about spirituality in general and what we would teach our children.  Ultimately, we want to let them decide for themselves. We’ll offer the tools and knowledge that we can, but will not point them in any one direction. The truth is theirs to find, and quite honestly I’m not sure that there is just one truth. Perhaps another day I’ll delve deeper, but for now I think this will suffice.

Polar Bears Turned Puppies

Play2

When it comes to toddlers, sometimes you need an old priest and a young priest.  I have yet to capture one of Enzo’s spectacular examples of stereotypical toddler behavior on camera, and I don’t know that I ever will.  Usually we’re all too caught up in the moment and part of me feels horrible even thinking about pulling out the camera while he tries to navigate growing up and dealing with how frustrating life can be.  Would I want someone to snap photos of me while dealing with something distressing/confusing/aggravating?  Probably not. Instead, I’ll stealthily try and capture the moments that make us smile or laugh in the moment rather than later on when you laugh only so that you don’t cry. ;)

 Play1

For some time now Enzo has been obsessed with big trucks and he really loves fire trucks and likes to copy the sounds the sirens make, “Wee yoo, wee yoo.” Thankfully when he spotted this fire station in Target it was on sale and I had a coupon as well. Score!  Because the boy doesn’t have enough toys already!

 Play3

It’s always amusing to me to see what toy will grab his attention or become his favorite.  Some of his favorites will change week to week or month to month, while others never do.  He originally picked out a polar bear for Phoebe, but quickly grew to love it himself, so we got her something different and let him hang on to his “Puppy.”  We’ve told him it’s a bear, but he just looks at you sideways as though to say, “A bear? I think not,” so Puppy it is!

Enzo'sPuppy