Monday, June 29, 2009

Sadie's Veil

I had the cutest Sadie moment today. We were sitting in the play room upstairs at Nani's house, packing for tomorrow's trip out to Boston (nine long hours on the plane, if you count a one hour layover in Houston) and had just picked out my two mantilla's and was about to pack them. Sadie was sitting on the floor watching me and I decided to put one on her head and see what she would do. Since the white one was already in a little cardboard case I took the black one, which is a medium sized rectangle and draped it over her head.

When it sat on her head it was huge. It reached all the way down to her elbows, like a wedding veil. The funniest thing was her reaction. There's a mirror on the entire closet door so Sadie could see herself easily and I pointed to her reflection. She held perfectly still with her little hands extended out to her sides and stared at her reflection. Then she pointed at her reflection in the mirror. After about thirty seconds she raised her hand up and touched the veil, which started to slip off. "Careful, it'll slip off." I whispered, and she froze and let me readjust it. Once it was back on she continued to stare, holding perfectly still for another minute. Finally I reclaimed it to pack and was surprised when Sadie threw herself onto the floor and had a complete meltdown. She wanted "her" veil back. I will definitely have to get her one of her own soon, probably one with a little ribbon that goes under her chin so that it stays in place.

These days she's so into wearing Mommy's things! It's very cute!

I'm not sure how much time (or internet access) I'm going to have when we're gone. Hopefully I'll be able to keep the blogs updated (my other blog is ). If not I'll be home on the ninth with tons of new pictures and stories. Have a Happy Fourth of July if I'm not on before then!

Packing and Repacking

We've spent the day rushing around the house packing. It's hard to decide what to bring and what to leave, but I have Sadie's bag and my bag packed and I'm working on figuring out what to bring in our carry on bags to keep Sadie occupied when she's awake (I'm hoping she's going to sleep through most of the trip).

Sadie wasn't a great helper when I was trying to pack my bag. She crawled over and sat next to the suitcase, looking very innocent. That should have been my first clue that she was up to something. Then when I turned my back to grab some freshly washed clothes that I'd folded on the bed she sprang.

When I turned back around she had pulled my clothes out of the suitcase and was shaking two of my dresses out on the floor. "Sadie, no, we don't do that." When I said the words I was laughing because she looked so cute, but she definitely understood that she was doing something that she wasn't supposed to do. She threw herself on the ground and stuck out her bottom lip, which started to tremble immediately. I knew we were on the verge of a meltdown. So I tickled her until she started to laugh and then we were back to packing.

I probably won't have a blog tomorrow because we'll be on the road. Hopefully Sadie sleeps all the way to Boston!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sadie's Odd Taste in Food

We are in the middle of a week that has been way too warm. When Nani checked the thermometer this afternoon it was 103 degrees. Poor Sadie has been trapped inside with me and today was more then a little impatient to go outside. She just doesn't understand why we can't go out and sit on the porch and swing on her swing. Hopefully it will cool down soon, but the weather report for tomorrow said that it is supposed to be 107 in Redding tomorrow (today it was 108). Yuck! I miss the rain and thunderstorms that we were having two weeks ago. Now it's hard to keep the lawns green even though we're watering them every day and the lettuce is wilting!

Sadie is eating more and more grown up foods and the funny thing is that she really does seem to be influenced by the things that I ate while I was pregnant with her. She gobbles up all of my favorite foods. I let her have little bites when she wants to (which is almost all the time) and some of her favorites have included dill pickle, garlic (she actually nibbled on a garlic clove) and a little bite of onion. She also loves avocado, artichokes, apricots and toast. And she still has her old favorites like yogurt and oatmeal and her gerber graduates.

A Sweltering Tea Party

I was debating going into town for the tea party yesterday because it was supposed to be so hot. I went against my better judgement because the idea of an afternoon tea party was so much fun, and took Sadie, along with my mom and grandmother (four generations all together), and went into town for the tea party. It was 101 degrees when we got there.

Sadie refused to take her nap all morning and fell asleep about five minutes from the tea party in the car. She actually slept through getting out of the car and stayed asleep through the first half hour of the tea party, which turned out not really to be a tea party at all, because it was so hot and no one was willing to drink hot tea (there was iced tea)!
Instead it had turned into a pool party, which not everyone was happy with. Apparently many of the guests hadn't gotten the message (I hadn't!) and were still dressed up, so most of us sweltered on the pool deck (and most of us who were dressed up were not all that happy about being splashed, which the swimmers thought was hilarious). It wasn't quite like the tea party last year, which was absolutely lovely (and much cooler)!

Sadie had fun though! They had astro turf down on the ground and she crawled around under my feet and even took a turn wearing my hat. She's at the age where she may not be happy about wearing her own things, but if she has a chance to wear Mommy's things she's ecstatic! Maybe she will keep on a veil in Church!

Oatmeal Raison Cookies

I tried out a new recipe yesterday from my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. My goal is to bake once a week (which usually turns out to be on Saturday for some reason). These turned out well. I substituted normal (artificial) pancake syrup for the pure maple syrup that the recipe requested, because when I went into town the pure maple syrup at the grocery store was 34 dollars and there was no way I could justify such a ridiculous expense. They turned out fine with the regular syrup. They weren't super sweet like some cookies can be, but I'm not usually into super sweet pastries so they were perfect!

Oatmeal Raison Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisons

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In one bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and then stir in the coconut. In another bowl beat butter and brown sugar until light. Add the maple syrup and mix. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. Mix in flour mixture. Mix until combined. Mix in oats and raisins.

Shape 3 tbs of dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. The recipe calls for putting the cookies on a baking sheet with parchment paper, but I just rubbed a bit of butter on it so that they wouldn't stick. Place the scoops of dough 2 inches apart and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. If you have two trays start one on the bottom level and one on the top and switch half way through. Let cookies cool on sheet for 2 minutes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Sadie loves her new word. She's been saying "dada" all day long. It seems to be her word when she wants to get her way and she doesn't feel like she's getting it fast enough. However she does know what it means because when we were sitting on the couch and Paul was on the other end she started saying it and I asked her where Daddy was. She pointed straight at him and kept her little hand up, pointing, for about a minute.

When she's feeling small though, it's straight back to saying "mama!" in her littlest, whiniest voice.

Right now Sadie and Daddy are sitting on the couch watching a princess special on Disney. They are very cute! Now it's dinner time! Sadie finally took a late nap so now it's time for a late dinner.

106 Degrees!

The first bear is coming together. Sadie has decided that I need her help and keeps tugging the yarn out of my hand while I'm sewing up the body. She wants to badly to help! Hopefully I can throw together a second bear before Tuesday morning. Right now she's watching a video with lots of baby songs and then we're going to head into town to do a little bit of food shopping with Nani.

It's a scorcher today in Northern California. The weather report for the large town that's the closest to us says that it's supposed to be 106 there today. It's usually a tiny bit cooler here, but I'm not looking forward to the three digit heat. There's a tea party in town with some ladies I know, and my mother and grandmother, and I'd love to go, but it's outside and I think it might be too hot for Sadie, even in the shade with her hat and sunscreen slathered on.

There's a new thread on the Catholic Answers Forum on head coverings in Church. It should be interesting to see where it goes and how long it stays up. People get so angry about head coverings (not unlike the modesty discussions). I'm never sure why women who don't cover there heads get so angry that some of us do! That's a topic for another blog and I have to run to the store. I'll think more on it and hopefully have time to write more later.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sadie's Cooking in the Kitchen

Sadie is like a little tornado, leaving a path of destruction across the downstairs area of Nani and Grumpa's house. We pick up her toys at least three times a day, which she takes as a sort of personal challenge. I think she thinks that it's time to redecorate when I clean up. She doesn't like the sink to be in place in her little kitchen, which is one of her new favorite toys. She takes the sink out and puts it in front of the kitchen so that she can see down inside the stove and microwave.

After removing the sink (two to three times a day) she ventures throughout the rest of the house, picking up whatever knicknacks that she can find and bringing them back to her kitchen. She then stuffs them inside the oven. It shouldn't have taken me five days to realize that when something has disappeared in the house that was lower than four feet off the ground, it's probably been relocated into the to oven (and can probably be spotted through the sink).

Since I started writing this blog Nani came in from watering her garden and decided to try to put the toys in the kitchen back in order. Before she was half way through Sadie came tearing across the room, picked the sink up, which had been in place for less than five seconds and flung it onto the floor. She's now cleared off the entire counter (onto the floor) and in celebration, found a binkie before standing and surveying the destruction.

Now it looks like she's headed over to untie Grumpa's shoelaces. She has so much energy and it's almost eight o'clock!

What To Wear...

I have never really felt comfortable when talking about clothing and fashion. The current trends were always rather far down on the list of things that I find important, although helpful friends tried to teach me the basics (they took me out and helped me pick out makeup and then showed me how to put it on during my senior year in college). I usually wasn't a mess. I was just more of a jeans and tank top/t-shirt/sweater type of girl.

Since meeting my husband and finding my way home to the Church, modest dress has become increasingly important to me. That means for the first time in my life fashion has become important to me on a day to day basis.

When I became concerned with the way I was dressing I started by looking at my closet. There was quite a bit that needed to go. So I took about 75% of my clothes to the soup kitchen that I worked at before Sadie came along (where they were snatched up by small children, who actually seemed to fit in them). This left me some basics to work with. I've added to the basics with pieces from JC Penny's and Target and even a few perfectly good dresses and skirts that I found during our town's City Wide Garage Sale. A pack of camisoles from Costco has been necessities for layering and I've found that the sweaters I've always loved are still essentials.

As I've found when discussing the issue of modesty with other women, there is often a knee jerk negative reaction. The idea that "we should be free to wear whatever we want!" comes up a lot. I completely agree. We should be free to dress as we see fit. However, as Chesterton said, having a right to do something isn't the same as being right when doing it. Just because we can wear pretty much whatever we want doesn't mean that we should dress scantily and parade around town for everyone to see. Creating Occasions (or Near Occasions) of Sin for the people around us isn't a good thing (I'll get more into that in a future post).

I don't want this blog to get too long so I'll end today with some pictures of my attempts at modest dress. They vary from situation to situation (with swimming being at one end and our trip to the Middle East being at the other).

This is one of my favorites, but it definitely requires a sweater.

This is my favorite dress! I wore it on our honeymoon.

This is comfortable with my matching flats for chasing after Sadie.

Here's our second day in Israel (I wore longer skirts there).

Sometimes covering up a little more makes life much easier.

This is another favorite. I'm so happy maxi dresses are in. This one's from Target.

This really wasn't all that warm (everyone else seemed to think I was baking alive).

I picked up the scarf in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

All covered up at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Way better then a bikini and I don't have to worry about losing my top.

There are no pictures of me out of the water with my one piece (although I love it!). I'm just not that comfortable yet with my post pregnancy body yet!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Dada. Dada. Dada. Dada!!!"

Sadie's favorite word of the week is "Dada." She says it constantly, especially when Paul walks into the room. He worked a night shift last night and didn't get down to the cabin until just before five, but that didn't stop Sadie from demanding his attention two hours later when she woke up. She sat up, looked at him and started to giggle hysterically. When he didn't move at all she stopped, stared at his face for about a minute and then started to giggle even louder. He finally woke up and said good morning to her and I took her up to Nani and Grumpa's house so that he could get some sleep.

After Paul woke up we headed into town to go the pool. There were pool noodles everywhere (sometimes they're still in their garbage can container). Sadie was obsessed with them. She insisted on holding a turquoise one. I finally took it away from her when she started biting off pieces of the end. She found another one when we were over by the stairs and when it was time to leave I managed to wrangle it out of her hands, which resulted in the first meltdown we've had at the pool.

The best part about going to the pool (okay, the second best part... the best part is all the fun we have playing.) is that when we get home Sadie is so exhausted that she doesn't fight nearly as much when it's time to take her nap. That makes the rest of the day much more pleasant because she's well rested at dinner and bath time!

Now it's time to get ready for bed. Sadie and Daddy are having quality time reading on of her word books and looking at the pictures. They're quite the picture of cuteness with Sadie clinging to her little bunny balloon from her birthday!

Time to Buckle Down and Knit the Bears

I have been procrastinating. In less than a week we leave to visit our family outside of Boston, and there's so much to do! One of Paul's older brothers and his wife are expecting their first baby and I told Paul I would crochet a blanket (and promised myself!) and knit a matching teddy bear. The blanket is finished, but halfway through body of the bear I got distracted when I learned a new crochet stitch (and broke down and started a new blanket). While I've done quite a lot of knitting (and tend to think of myself as a knitter) I only knew on crochet stitch (now I know two). That was two weeks ago and I haven't picked the little bear up since. Now I need to focus in on the bear.

That bear really isn't the problem though. I could finish it in a couple of days, although it will probably take a bit more time with Sadie "helping." The problem is that I need to bring a present for our two year old nieces birthday party, which will take place while we're there, and with our suddenly smaller budget I need to work with what I have. The beautiful merino wool I had set aside before Sadie was born to make a sweater (for myself) with, is about to become Bear #2. I need to hustle to finish in time. And since I don't want to haul a bag of stuffing with me on the plane I am not counting plane time as knitting time. My new rule for the coming week is no working on the blanket (which is for Sadie) until the bears are done.

I've also started working on a list of things I need to pack. Maybe I can come up with a "What You Need To Bring When Flying Across the County with a Toddler" list. Any suggestions of baby items you can't live without during a week away from home?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Angel Soft Baby

Sadie is in love with the Angel Soft Toilet Paper Baby. Nani had brought some into the house after a shopping cart but hadn't put it away yet when Sadie set eyes on the little guy. She crawled over and crawled on top of the it and looked at me. Then she leaned over and gave the baby a kiss. She gave the baby between twenty and thirty kisses tonight, but she isn't giving anyone else one.

While she went through a kissing phase where she was giving everyone kisses, that phase is (sadly) now over. I think it has become a game where she dodges kisses. I (or anyone else) leans in to kiss her and she leans away. At the last moment she'll even twist her neck so that you kiss the back of her head. Sometimes she even makes a little puckering face (a sour face, not a kissing face) to show what she thinks of kissing. I hope this phase ends quickly. Her little pecks were so sweet! I'm trying not to make a big deal of it, because I really don't want it do become a big game!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How I Know I Need Reconciliation

This morning I was trying to figure out whether or not I needed to go to confession. My husband and I had argued yesterday and while I didn't feel like I had to go I felt like I should. I must admit, I don't like that feeling.

Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation is high on my husbands list of favorite things, but I still get a queasy feeling in my stomach beforehand. I usually try to go every month, but sometimes I go as long as two months. He's been told by one priest he goes to when he's in the City that he could cut back to a few times a month.

As we drove to Mass I reasoned with myself, coming up with reasons not to go to confession first. And that's when it struck me: if I was coming up with reasons not to go to confession, then I really did need to go. Because when I don't need to go the idea of receiving this sacrament doesn't bother me. It only bothers me when I've done something wrong.

Ten minutes later I was glad I'd asked the priest to hear my confession before Mass. I felt better and I didn't spend Mass worrying about whether yelling was venial or not.

Our Brave Little Climber

Delilah (one of our cats) has learned to hide in Sadie's play pen when Sadie is out and about. Sadie usually doesn't see her in there but the other day she spotted the cat and got as close to Delilah as she could though the mesh. Delilah played it cool. She's pretty confident that Sadie can't climb in and get her. Yet.

Sadie is a climber. She climbs anything that she can get her little leg up and over. She climbs her little chairs and stands on them. She spent a good portion of yesterday trying to climb into her little shopping cart. She even put her little feet on the wheels to try and get high enough to get in. I managed to convince her that putting her doll in the cart was a better solution, but I'm not fooled, she'll try again soon. Once Sadie gets it in her mind that she's going to do something, she isn't easily dissuaded.

And that brings me to the latest thing that Sadie has decided she is going to do. She is convinced that she is big enough to put her face in the water at the pool. She must have got the idea by watching everyone else, and she has decided that she is big enough to do it. She spends half of the time at the pool craning her neck to put her face in. On five separate occasions today she was close enough and she dunked her face and then jerked backwards, gasped and looked shocked. I'm constantly surprised by how brave she is.

She also tries to push off of me to swim to other people. I don't let go (and I keep her from going under water because she is still really little!). We are definitely going to have to watch her like a hawk around water. Sometimes I think she's too brave for her own good!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Birthday Cake!

Today is Sadie’s birthday! Her party was yesterday because we didn’t want to have it on Father’s Day. It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire year since we welcomed Sadie into our little family. She is such an amazing little girl.

For Sadie’s birthday party Nani and Grumpa got her a store bought cake that matched our Bunny themed party.
Today though, I used the recipe that my mom made (from a cookbook she got when she married my Dad) for my first birthday to make my cake. It may not be as pretty as her Bunny Cake, but it was made with love and Sadie loved it.

And here’s the recipe from the Old Fanny Farmer Cookbook!

Fresh Banana Cake

¼ pound butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup mashed banana

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup sour cream

Heat oven to 350 F. Butter and lightly flour a 9” square cake pan. Cream the butter and slowly add sugar and beat until light. Add banana, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt, add to the first mixture and blend. Slowly add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Spread into pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack.

And I frosted it with a glaze, which was basically confectioners’ sugar with hot water slowly added to it while it was being beat, until it was a good consistency to pour over the top of the cake and dribble down the sides.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Year in Pictures

I can hardly believe that it's been a year! To commemorate Sadie's birthday I wanted to put together a year in pictures so that everyone can see how much she's grown!

Pregnant (Less then a month to go)

0 Months (Sadie's Birthday)

1 Month (Baptism at St. Patrick's)

2 months (Family Vacation in Bandon)

3 Months (Hanging Out After Mass)

4 Months (Getting Ready to Go Trick or Treating!)

5 Months (Enjoying Thanksgiving!)

6 Months (Christmas Morning)

7 Months (Crawling)

8 Months (Ash Wednesday)

9 Months (Family Vacation to Crescent City)

10 Months (Our First Band Aid)

11 Months (Standing on the Porch!)

The Birthday Girl!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Party!

Here is Sadie's birthday cake. I was so excited when I saw it because the bunny turned out so cute. The cake lady at our local Top's market really is an artist! I'm making Sadie's cake for tomorrow (the family party on her actual birthday) and it won't be nearly as spectacular, but it will be made with real bananas!
I'm referring to this as the picture of the princess's throne. Sadie loved her high chair with the balloons tied on to it. I thought that it would be hard for her to focus with the balloons, but with all of her guests (there were 18 in all) Sadie seemed more interested in the rest of the room then in trying to eat the balloons (although she did keep one balloon in each hand.
Here is Sadie's first taste of cake. She really did like it, although you can't really tell that by this picture. We tried to let her feed herself, and while she seemed to get the idea of what she was supposed to be doing, she obviously didn't like the feel of it on her hands.
Here's the picture of our little family from the party. Sadie was such a big girl. At the end of the party, after playing with her presents, she walked back and forth behind her lion at least a dozen times, smiling at everyone. She really had a blast. As soon as everyone went home she passed out and had a nice long nap! I know I've said it almost every day this week but I still can't believe it's been a year!

Nice to Meet You!

Welcome to the Grand Opening of my blog, A Woman's Place... A Woman's Place is a blog for wives and mothers who are determined to living a life dedicated to their families and their God. With a little time and a little work I hope this site will blossom into a page with recipes, gardening and craft tips and bits and pieces from day to day life. Hopefully we can share experiences and blessings and grow in our faith!

I'll begin with a quick introduction.

I'm a stay-at-home mom and a convert to the Catholic faith. I was raised and baptized in a small, Southern Baptist Church and when I told my husband that I would follow his lead, join RCIA and raise our children in the Church I had no idea how completely our lives would be transformed. The more I learn and grow the more I have to realize that the rather flippant, not at all thought out decision (neither my husband nor I had attended any churches services regularly for years) was the first step on a journey towards an amazing treasure. The grace of God has wrought amazing changes in our lives!

God has entrusted us with an amazing little girl who will turn one this month. She is truly a blessing and she brings joy and smiles to everyone that she meets.

My husband is currently in graduate school, earning his masters degree in theology. After he finishes his MA he plans on going on to get his JCL to become a Canon Lawyer. We've been busy this summer learning Latin for his studies. He hopes to be admitted to the Angelicum in Rome in 2011, but that's still a ways off!

We escaped from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 and live a few hundred yards from my parents and grandparents homes (which means that with the arrival of our daughter we have four generations here). Our humble home is a one room cabin (which is 10 x 15 feet) with no running water. We do our best to live in accordance with the teachings of the Church each and every day, with each and every decision. As a result we are very conservative by our culture's standards.

And, for the sake of keeping this brief introduction short, that is my life in a nutshell. Thanks for visiting the site!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Getting Ready for the Party!

We are busy busy busy! Sadie's birthday party is tomorrow morning. When I gave out invitations at Church I wasn't sure anyone would come (we live about fifteen minutes from town and it's kind of hard to find because any time the county has tried to put up a sign on our road one neighbor or another has taken it down). We've gotten lots of RSVPs though, so it looks like it's going to be kind of big. The theme is Bunnies by the Bay. Mrs. Bunny, one of Sadie's favorite babies, is a Bunnies by the Bay bunny and when I saw that it was an actual theme for a birthday party (there are hats and plates and everything!) I decided that it would be absolutely perfect.

Nani and Grumpa have been hard at work in the yard and it looks absolutely beautiful. Grumpa even power washed the house (with dirt roads things get very dusty around here)! And while the sunflowers don't have actual flowers yet, they are lining the garden and are about five feet tall. I'll take lots of pictures! I can't believe that it was a year ago tomorrow that we headed to the hospital trying to figure out if my water had broken (it had!)!

Today's picture shows Sadie when she was one month old, taking a nap with Mrs. Bunny.