Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baby's First Photo Shoot

Had to share these with you.










I decided to use one of these for a birth announcement.

The outfit and sheet coordination wasn't planned.  (Outfit came from Gymboree and sheets are from Carter's.)

When I realized her outfit matched her sheets...well...I  could not resist!  :)

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Day 5 finds us drinking in as much of our  Little Bit as we can.

Older Littles are all on  antibiotics.  Doctor gave strict orders that they had to stay away from her for 48 hours.  For the Littles, that was like  years!!!


We had tears.


After all this waiting, visits cut short at the hospital, and seeing but unable to touch and hold at home...tomorrow will be their big day :)


I'm doing better each day.  I've tried to read some blogs but manage to get in only one or two.  I'll catch up to you eventually!

Finally, thanks for all of your very, very sweet comments.  It is still so  surreal to David and I.

A little blessing from above indeed!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hello World!


This is me!




Mommy and I have been getting to know each other in the hospital.  She told me to tell you that recovery for this one was tough, but each day is getting better and better.

I heard her say that major abdominal surgery is not for babies :)




Mommy says that I already have Daddy wrapped around my finger....what do you think?






We arrived home last night.

All of my big siblings have really bad colds.  They are disappointed that they could not visit more than they did and now they can't hold me....Yes, they are that sick.  (*frown*)

Daddy is going to take them to the doctors today.

OH!....my mommy told me to tell you she promises to send more pictures soon.  She also thanks you for all the sweet and kind congratulations :)

Until then....love and hugs,

C.  (Grammy needs to give me my nickname when she arrives on Thursday!)



Thursday, January 26, 2012

Think Pink

Hi! This is Sally.
Cecelia Ann is here!!
Born at 7:42 A.M.
Weight: 7 lb 15 oz.  Mom and Baby are doing great!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Waiting

My nerves are getting  better.

Mass helped - a LOT - this past Sunday morning.  The entrance song was  Be Not Afraid.  


That was also one of my father's favorites.

After Mass, I received a blessing from Father.

All very comforting.



Girl time helped a lot as well (*wink*)

They used their gift certificates from Christmas and we enjoyed ourselves for the afternoon...


Ester chose a manicure. 



Sally chose a pedicure.




And little Miss Mabel had her first pedicure.  She was soooo ticklish!  

The sweet lady gave her a "free" flower on each big toe.



The girls and I have never done this together.  It was so much fun!

Me?  I had my toes and hands worked on.  I never realized how awesome a hand massage felt!!

Stan?  He and David spent the weekend "working on things" out in the garage.  Stan LOVES it when there are "no girls allowed!"  (*grin*)



Meal preparations are now complete.  I have about 8 meals in the freezer.  We will also be blessed with meals from friends.  (Our homeschool group always sets up a care calendar for one another in need.  What a blessing!)

*In the middle of writing this post, Jen suggested I blog about freezer meals.  So I thought I'd write down what I prepared.  (Feel free to skip over it if you want :)


1.  Chicken noodle soup:  Some neighbors brought a delicious, scrumptious southern dinner to our house last week.  We had one whole roasted chicken left over (she prepared two!)  David deboned it and I made soup from it.

2.  Vegetable beef soup.

3.  Spaghetti

4.  Sloppy Joe's.  (This recipe is on my recipe page at the top of the blog.  It comes from Jen's grandma.)

5.  Ham.  At New Year's, we baked a large spiral ham.  I had David cut up half and freeze it.

6.  Tator Tot and beef casserole.  (I NEED to add this easy, breezy dish to my recipe page.)

7.  Pulled Pork.  (This recipe is also on my recipe page.)

8. A package of frozen Breaded Chicken Breasts.  These make for a yummy, easy, hot sandwich night.

* And as I type I think about how one could easily freeze Chili or Pork Chops (pre-cooked in a crock pot).


Ripe watermelon.  That's what I felt like last Friday when our temps climbed to almost 80 degrees F.

My sister-in-law (the godmother of Baby Joy) wanted me to send her a picture.

Want to see?  If not, close your eyes and quickly scroll down (LOL)




David took this of me.  I had just finished folding clothes and the window was open and a breeze was blowing on me.

Sister-in-law text:   "Look at  Patty glowing."

No.

I was bloody hot and turning red!  (Not sure how pregnant women manage the Texas heat during the summer months.  Ee-gads!)


School is out.  We finished up with week 25 on Friday.

Hoping to take one month off.

Plans?

Just loving on Baby Joy.


Keeping up with house chores/cleaning really helps.

Much to the Littles dismay :)

They have been an ENORMOUS help!  I know how much they will be when I come home with baby.


Walking around Hobby Lobby (sigh...I just LOVE that store)...trying to get things progressing.  I picked up some cute arts and crafts for the kids to make valentines for when they do grow bored.  (Because I know they will eventually.)

Quick story...

Two years ago Mabel was making home made valentines for her friends.  She taped a blow pop sucker to a heart shaped valentine and wrote the words....  Valentine, you blow me away!


Well, she must have grown tired and wanted to finish and ended up writing....   Valentine, you blow!

You bet I saved one.  That was a keeper!


And for when I have my hospital stay for 3-4 days...

I picked them up a cute gift to open each day.  Nothing big.  Just one "I love you" reminder for each day.  I'll post about those another time since two of mine like to read this blog.

Almost 48 hours away!

~  Patty  ~

Did you know....

...that all of these people were adopted?

Check out Jen's  link here.

Praying for all you marchers out there ...even if it isn't being reported on!

God bless,

Patty

Friday, January 20, 2012

My NFP Doctor

Wow!  I had my last appointment yesterday.  Can you believe it?!

I took all of the Littles  (I asked permission first of course.)  You could have lit up the house with their excitement.  I think the staff and Doctor were just as excited!

I am so blessed.  For many reasons.

But I write about one in particular for today's post.

This blessing has to do with my doctor...who is an NFP doctor (Natural Family Planning - not to be confused with the old Rhythm Method.)    A rare gem to find indeed.

Actually, DFW has two NFP doctors for sure (for some reason I thought a third one started a practice recently).

But if you consider the size of the DFW metro ....  which is larger in area than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined ....   we need more!


Every city needs one for that matter!

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Doctor decided to take the leap of faith some years back and go the NFP route.  He will not prescribe any form of contraception nor does he perform tubal ligation.  He is practicing his faith as well as his medicine.

He told us once how worried he was when he took the leap of faith.  What would happen?  Would he be able to provide for his own family?

God has blessed him greatly!  Last week the priest who says the Latin Mass visited Doctor's new office and blessed it.

When you walk into Doctor's office you find only peace and quiet there...are welcomed with beautiful paintings of Our Mother....framed posters of the Popes...etc.

You will also find his wife working there and infant daughter happily blowing spit bubbles from her walker...the official greeter to patients. :)

An awesome, Pro-Life office is an understatement.

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Doctor continues to share those blessings with all of his patients.

Since we were unable to get insurance for this c-section, (self-employed, private insurance, history of c-section), we were classified as self-pay.

Our total bill - what we will pay - will top off at $15,000 - hopefully.


Doctor helped us incredibly.  I have had at least 25 sonos with my complications and have been going in weekly since what? 26 weeks?

He didn't turn us away.  He welcomed us.  He showed compassion and mercy.  He gave us a hefty "self-pay" discount.

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We brought Doctor and staff a gift yesterday.  A small token of our appreciation.  A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


Not only the Patroness of The Americas, but Patron of Unborn Children.  She will have a prominent spot in that NFP, Pro-Life office.  Doctor and Mrs. were thrilled.

Blessings always come full circle!

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So the big day is fast approaching.  Six days.  Thursday, January 26.

Mother nature is also telling us it could happen sooner.  Lots of excitement in our house right now!!

So here is where I humbly ask for more prayers.  These prayers are needed for my anxiety.  I have NEVER met a woman who "wanted" a c-section nor looks forward to a c-section.  From my own personal experience, the more you have the worse it gets.

Where I want to throttle the woman who suggests or thinks otherwise, and yet, has never experienced one...I will refrain from doing so.  (Sigh....)

And please don't refer to them as unnatural.  What could be more natural than bringing a child into the world regardless of procedure?  I thank God for modern medicine and being alive!

Here is where I  will GRIN,  regain my composure,  keep my dignity, and simply ask for prayers for my anxiety and a safe and healthy delivery.

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Since we aren't sure of Baby Joy's gender, we have our baby pinks and  blues ready to go....




We have always purchased a special "bring me home" outfit for All the Littles.  I've kept each one packed away in each of their baby bins...maybe someday they'll use them for their own littles.

We have our childcare lined up and look forward to some relatives flying in to help and visit.

And we wait. I made it to 37 weeks.  What a journey!

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I cannot thank you all enough for the spiritual bouquets that have been given to us.  Where I have felt my weakest and unable to walk this path, your prayers carried me through.  My entire family has felt them all along the way and it has been very humbling to receive such an outpouring of love.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, please hear our prayers especially on the anniversary of Woe VS Wade.  Safely keep those who will be traveling within their homestate or to our capitol for prayer, peace, and hope.

God bless!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

I had an old box of Shake n' Bake in the pantry.  When I turned it over I found a yummy (and easy) recipe for Chicken Parmesan.

Now I'm not Italian nor do I  claim to be some great Italian chef, but after trying this recipe, my family loved it -  a lot!  I've made it twice in one month.




Ingredients:
3-4 Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved  *(I halved my chicken breasts to cut portion size.)
Box of regular Shake n' Bake
2 Cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box of angel hair pasta
Spaghetti Sauce - *(Keeping this easy, I used a jar of spaghetti sauce.)

Directions:
1.  Prepare the chicken according to the Shake n' Bake instructions. *Prep and bake time for this part is 20-30 minutes

2.  Prepare your spaghetti.

3.  Once chicken is done, sprinkle on some Mozzarella cheese to the top of each piece of chicken, bake an additional 5 minutes at 400 degrees F.

4.  Serve spaghetti with a piece of the baked chicken on top.

~  Patty  ~

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birth After Adoption

I don't dwell on this, but I would be lying if I told you these concerns of mine never tug at my heart.

With Baby Joy's impending birth, this is what I ponder in my heart...

* Stan's reaction now and in the future.   How will he feel being the only adopted one?  Where I know and David knows that he is one of us, we will have never walked in his shoes.

*  Will he react differently to a sister compared to a brother. Will he ever feel "less than" a son born biological rather than born from the heart?   (And I'm talking about the viewpoint of an adopted child.)

* These and other questions.

We would love to have some resources that someone highly recommends about this topic, someone who has been there, done that.

I do know one thing, as long as we (the family) always ask God to put the words needed on our hearts, we will not be misguided.  Stan will always know our love.



~  Patty  ~

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Love

This!


Missy's Peanut Butter Passion Cake...recipe found here.

It just popped up on my FB page and I was like, oh yeah!!!   (Nodding head at same time.)


And This!






Yum - my!  As close as it gets to the real McCoy  (*wink*)

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Speaking of Facebook...Dear FB friends, you've already seen these next photos.  Sorry.  Just very proud of my guy :)

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And... Last -but-Not-Least... This!




Teardrop camper that my very talented hubby built for hunting.  From blueprints.  Off the computer.  From scratch.

Cool, huh?

(Yes, I am the proud wife.)

It isn't finished inside and still has to be painted, but it can be camped in.


Side doors open to bunk room.  Back end opens to galley kitchenette.  (There is a wall between the kitchenette and bunk room.)


These two lucky Littles were picked for the inaugural camp out.  (Eating a gourmet dinner of roasted hot dogs :)

He has been building in any "spare time" over the past two months.  Piece by piece.  In our garage.

*Note: As they were setting up camp, another teardrop pulled in next to them and they had an adopted child from China!  How cool was that?  

Hope you are able to find some Love in your life today, too!

~  Patty  ~

Friday, January 13, 2012

Still Here

Except for a Huge surprise this past week, life has remained relatively calm and quiet.  I would even say dull, except for the surprise. 

In Mabel's words, "How come we never paint anymore?!" 

Sigh...

We will again someday.  It's been a long year but it will be all so very worth it in 13 days.

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Now to our surprise...

Has there ever been a moment in life when you least expected, let alone knew exactly what you needed, an amazing gift that would equate to an outpouring of love?

A couple come to mind for me...

Gift Number 1~

Eleven years ago.

I was on my fourth day in the hospital having a very difficult recovery from a c-section.  I had hemorrhaged and needed a blood transfusion and on top of that, our baby daughter had been born with a heart defect that would need open heart surgery.

My spirits were low as you can imagine.

It was an early morning Sunday and I was sitting there when I heard a soft knock on the hospital door.  In walked a handful of my brothers who had decided to pick up my spirits with a surprise visit.

You see, they had gotten up rather early that morning to drive over 120 miles (one way) to visit me and their new niece.

It was a quick visit because one of them had a prior engagement  and so they needed to turn around shortly and head back for their homes. 

On top of that, (I heard), the surprise idea had come from them, not their wives. 

I never would have expected such a gift and have never forgotten it.  And you bet it cheered me up!

Gift Number 2~

Six years ago.

Waiting for "The Call" from the adoption agency.  That was one of the most painful waits I've ever experienced.  Talk about time standing still.  Months and months of time. 

I spent my time waiting in the adoration chapel each week asking for more patience to withstand the waiting game.

Guess where I was when we finally received "The Call"?    The adoration chapel.  How appropriate was His timing!

I'll never EVER forget my husband coming in and whispering in my ear,   "Are you ready to go pick up your son?"

It still gets me right there when I think about it to this day :)


Gift Number 3~

For the past week.


A recent gift for my family, in honor of new life, brought a whole lot of excitement to this house (as if there weren't enough already!)  A gift that arrived in waves throughout the course of a week which reflected the theme of The Epiphany, or The Magi.  A gift that poured down lots of love...one that will leave residual effects for a very long time!  A gift that will never, ever be forgotten.

This was a gift that would send our spirits souring, especially this mama, and make us feel so very, very special.

I pray that all of you have had these moments in your own life.  They are not always gifts of the material kind, but a gift that sends your spirits soaring to those heavenly heights!  They are not gifts that are "better than" other gifts....but gifts that bring to you what He knows you need at that particular moment in life.

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And so it is another weekend. 

We've been watching the weather for those of you up in the Midwest and Northeast.  Brrrr...

My Littles are jealous of your snow.  But our temps cooled off enough yesterday as to bring rosy cheeks and a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows.

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May you all have a wonderful weekend!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pocahantas and Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha

Some time back I posted about being brainless.

Nope.  Nothing has changed.

Take this morning for example.

David and Mabel were discussing her hair...now that it is very long it really should be taken care of.  (i.e.  braids, pigtails.)

She's been wearing it long and wild and yup, sometimes it looks messy.  She has been battling me to "do her own" hair but an intervention time with Dad was needed.

Anyway....

So he talks about how Pocahontas must have worn beautiful Indian braids.  As they talked about Pocahontas,  I excitedly jumped in and stated...

"Did you know that she is being advanced toward canonization?"

They both looked at me with this "duh" look and David said, "Pocahontas?!"

Mabel said, "Isn't she just a Disney Princess?"  (No, she hasn't studied early American history yet and thinks "Back then" is an actual time period.)

At which point I told them I was talking about Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.  Boy was the laugh on me :)

Ugh....

~  Patty  ~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Future Fashionista!

The big girls have been busy. 


Crocheting with love.  Aren't those great little hats?

Sally worked hard on this beautiful blanket over the fall months.


I love it!

Baby Joy will be sleeping in our room for a bit.  Our bedroom colors are soft blue and chocolate, so Baby Joy will be having blue and chocolate as well.

God bless her - even Mabel gave it a whirl by creating this bib....made from nothing but love and busy little fingers holding onto crochet hooks and yarn.


(*Wink*)  I think she certainly gets an A for effort and for crocheting from the heart :)

I think all the girls get an A+!

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Aren't these the sweetest little lamb booties you have ever seen?



Check out the backside.


Aren't they precious?!

The Littles saw them at a local Catholic gift shop (Two Hearts) way back in September.  I passed on them at the time.

Well...in the past two weeks, I have been out  4 times....twice to church....twice to the doctor's.  Today I felt really good and decided to stop in at that store for a gift.  That's when I saw those booties and couldn't resist.

 The tag had the website www.hisgem.net  on the back.  (I did not see the booties on the website though.)

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Oh!  I washed some basic white essentials I received as Christmas gifts from the Littles.



I  totally  forgot just how amazing  Dreft baby detergent smells.  I posted about it on FB and a friend said, "It's like laundry soap from Heaven!"  Amen, sister!

~  Patty  ~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Recipes

Hi All!

I've been working on my recipe pages at the top of my blog.  Not done yet, (didn't realize just how many I had put up in 1 1/2 years!)

I broke it up into two pages as you can see:  Holiday Baking and Recipes (which covers anything that doesn't fall under Holiday baking or cooking.)

Still a work in progress.  Thanks for being so encouraging!

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Had a check up today and it seems all that discomfort and achiness comes from Baby Joy being breach.  Otherwise, everything is looking wonderful.

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Have a great weekend!!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Favorite Picture of 2011


"Gorgeous"  (Jan 2011)

January~

I was not feeling good this afternoon...at all.  Baby Joy is running out of room quickly.  All of a sudden, even three weeks seems rather far away.

I rested in a recliner with David's laptop and read through posts from 2011 and took note of something.

This time last year we took the Littles for a long weekend down to Galveston Island and the Houston Space Center.

The weekend was full of so much fun, excitement, and happiness. I had shared with David that we were expecting again.  Shortly after that trip, we experienced our fourth and probably the most emotionally painful miscarriage to date.

It all began on January 25, 2011.  (Baby Joy is due January 26, 2012...almost one year to the day!)

My pregnancy with Francis took us to our ultimate lows...soaring back up high...only to crash back down into a dark valley.

Life has almost come full circle and I have experienced so many fruitful moments in my faith over the past 12 months.  And to think some of those fruitful moments I thought I was actually abandoning God!  Looking back,  I now realize He needed me to  look at the moment in life differently.

Two posts that really stand out are  "A Dried Out Log". and "God, Mary, and Myself".

The emotion of joy only evolved out of sorrow when I completely abandoned myself to God.  And that was before I was carrying Baby Joy in my womb.


Kind of deep thoughts for a very pregnant mama who isn't feeling good.  I know.  But I think it is more like Grace being poured down from Him as Baby Joy's time approaches.  And how grateful I am of that Grace and of Baby Joy!

~  Patty  ~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Just When You Thought It Was Over

New Year's Day I  opened the fridge and found cut out dough...from the week before.  It had been sealed tight and I just couldn't let it go to waste.



So I baked snowflake cookies.  (Ha ha!  I baked while David was at the store stocking up on all fresh fruits and veggies for the vitamix again!)


And Ester decorated them with (canned) cream cheese frosting.



And I swear to you, these are THE best cut out cookies you will  EVER  sink your teeth.

The secret ingredient is a dash of nutmeg that make them taste divine!

*I received this recipe from my oldest sister about 9 years ago and have never used anything else since!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

1.  In a separate bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg.  Set aside. 

2.  In a mixing bowl blend shortening, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until creamy.  Gradually add the flour blend mixing slowly.  Finally, mix in the sour cream.

3.   Refrigerate at least four hours before rolling out on a well floured surface with a floured pin.  *I always let these chill over night.  Cut out.

4.  Bake at 425 degrees F. for 6-8 minutes or until sides start to slightly brown.  Place on cooling rack.  Frost and decorate when completely cooled.

I always double this batch and still only get 32 cookies from it.  But that is enough for our family.  I also use the recipe from fall through winter with any cut out cookies we make.

 
Happy New Year!

Patty  ~

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Thoughts

My goodness. 

I have had so many thoughts rambling through my brain these past couple of days. 

Trying to reflect on the past year and what is to come this new year...a lot of static up there in that space known as my brain.



*  January is here.  Baby Joy will be born in January.  Not too long ago, January seemed so very, very far away.

* A new year which means more distance placed between the last time I  spoke with or hugged my father, and now.  One never "gets use to" that.  I do not like adding another year to his death anniversary.  Nope.

* Baby Joy will be the first of my children to never have met my father.  This will make the third grandchild that has never met Poppy.

I quickly brush the last two thoughts aside since I know that I will confront them once more in the near future.


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New Year's resolutions...

* A couple of friends posted about Jeff Cavins and how to make your resolutions stick by making them "spiritual resolutions".  I mentioned it was the  just  retooling I needed on my spiritual compass.


I really encourage you to read the article.

Also~

*  Saint of the Year for my family in 2012.  What a beautiful tradition!  You should check it out.

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Wrapping things up here, I wanted to share two funny sayings I learned this year...

1.  When a woman can't stop complaining or whining::

"Sweetie, it's time to get your big girl panties on."

2.  When someone is steaming mad about something and you think you can talk to them::

"Stay away from that charcoal till it cools."

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As the clock keeps ticking away we will be starting back into school today.  This means peace and busyness for the Littles.

~  Patty  ~

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