Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekly Capture LVII


July has been a Full Speed Ahead type month for us. First we had a family trip to Lake George in the Adirondacks to spend time with LegenDaddy's family as accounted in this post. Arriving home for exactly one week, we smooshed in a whole lotta laundry plus packing our household items in prepping to move AND repacking for yet another trip.

As you might have seen, last Friday I had to slow down (while on vacation - imagine that!) since we forgot the laptop at home. We just arrived home from our epic trip this past Wednesday evening, and it's been nonstop still as we finish up packing and getting ready to receive the keys to our new house this coming Sunday. By the time all this is over, I am going to need a daylong nap. At least.

Our trip was not only epic, but it was so, so much fun. Over 10 days, we stayed in 5 different places, visiting near a hundred family members and bestest of friends, and despite my insane tiredness at this point, I wouldn't trade any of it. I only wish I could have lengthened each stop, so we could have spent more time with each person(s).

First up, we stopped in Maryland, somewhat close to DC, to visit my Aunt + Uncle and 2 of my cousins with a chance meeting with another cousin + her husband - they were about to leave right as we arrived. Fabulous conversation and love abound in this household and it is such a pleasure to always stop in to visit. Plus, they never turn down a good board/card game. This visit included two rounds of the game: BANG. I like to think of it as Cowboys and Indians meet Mafia in card game form. I'm pretty sure we'll be obtaining our own copy before the year is out.


Next, we traveled south and further east to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. LegenDaddy's parents usually get down there and rent a house for a week or two each year. This is the 2nd time we've been able to join them - perfect this time that we were already planning a trip in that direction on the right dates. It's a bustling vacation town in the summer, but still offers plenty of opportunity to slow down and just enjoy life. And so much beach time - it was very fun to share my love of the ocean with the boyOs. Plus LegenDaddy is a great lover of both water and sand, so he willingly made a katrillion sandcastles for the boyOs to demolish. Many of the photos I shared in last week's post were from our 2.5 days there.


We were able to stop in Colonial Williamsburg for a few hours in betwixt Chincoteague and the next stop. The weather was God awful HOT, so we only stayed for a bit. Plus it costs a small fortune to actually access the majority of the buildings, so we decided to just eat lunch at a tavern, visit a general store, and stick our limbs in the stocks with plans to visit for a few days sometime in the future.


The climax of the trip (and the reason for picking these dates) was my cousin Janice's wedding in VA. Most of the hundred people I mentioned us seeing were seen in the two days we spent celebrating her nuptials. When my family has a wedding, it's a HUGE affair: rehearsal dinner thrown by the groom's fam including a pig roast, pool time with multiple cousins, wedding mass that was standing room only, and a 350+ person reception at a lovely plantation home overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. In case you were wondering of the awesomeness of my family - in the above photo the bride + groom have joined many members of my family and a few others for a rousing rendition of Gilbert + Sullivan's "Catlike Tread" from Pirates of Penzance.
Of course, the party couldn't end there, so there was an AfterParty complete with port + cigars, crab eating, and live impromptu band playing PLUS mass + brunch the next morning. It was fabulous, and though I know I said "Hi" to everyone, the time spent there was much too short. Thankfully, another somebody or other is bound to get married within the next 2-3 years, and we'll do it all over again.


Sunday post-Brunch, we traveled further south to Norfolk area to see my maternal grandparents. Most of the time was spent with my Nana as my grandfather (affectionately named 'Gandy' by me at age 1) has Alzheimer's and has recently needed to be put in a full care home. I thankfully did get to go see him, and though hard, the moments with him were very sweet and special. My Nana might as well be 25 with all the energy she has bundled up inside her - she was down playing with my boyOs on the floor, taking us out on day trips to the Aquarium and the Zoo, and stayed up til the late hours telling me beautiful stories of family from days gone by. I also was able to do some work on a personal photography project I have wanted to do - documenting their home and my grandfather's personal items in Still Life photos. Another too short visit, but I am still SO glad we made it down there.


Lastly, we stopped in Baltimore, MD area to visit one of my favorite friends and definite kindred spirits. Kaely + I met on a pro-life missions trip to Ireland waaaay back when we were seniors in high school.  We both were in each other's weddings, and since then we've had our kiddos at roughly the same times.  However, she is ahead of me right now and expecting her 3rd in the Fall. Once again, I wish we'd had way more time with her sweet family (our husbands happen to get along superbly as well), and our kids warmed up to one another almost immediately.


And home. My house is such a mess. Baskets of laundry. Piles of boxes - packed and half-packed. A still empty fridge - my kids are overly gracious in what they are willing to eat. Thanks for listening to my ridiculously looooong update on our travels. When I next write one of these Weekly Captures, we shall already be on our way to moving into our new house. Pictures shall accompany. =)


Out of the Mouth of Dom

"I'm gonna get married one day, so I need to be Captain America!"
"Janice needs protecting, so she's gonna marry Will because he is Captain America."

Dom's thoughts the morning of the wedding nuptials 

My B

Soooo, right before the epic trip, B up and popped two molars through. Then he slept through the night twice in a row. The trip kinda ruined that trend, but maybe it'll start up again now that we're in our own beds again. Poor boy was so active and crazy and adventurous on our trip that he got 3 bloody noses. they all stopped as quick as they started, but still we managed to hit several articles of clothing. Most of the time, his shyness kept him back from new people and crowds, but he managed to overcome it once getting to know new faces, and all in all, I'd say he warmed up pretty well. 
With words, he's working hard to articulate sounds and eliminate signing. He now says "Yesh" (Yes), "Puzz" (Please), and "Up." I am pretty sure I've also heard variations on truck, car, dog, and more as well.

Checked off our Summer Bucket List

√ Swim in ocean


√ Play Mini Golf



Links I thoroughly enjoyed

I'm Trying Not to Be the "Just Wait" Mom + Praying with Your Feet :: Carrots for Michaelmas Two (!) inspiring posts from Haley - read them and enjoy!

Treading Water Motherhood Days :: Finding Joy A great reminder: Hard and repetitive moments make you stronger. 

St. Anthony, Find Me Seven Quick Takes :: This Ain't the Lyceum Truly useful things to ask St. Anthony for help finding.

So You Guys Are Done, Right? :: Catholic All Year Big families, all around! A mom's take on what helped her deal with the not-so-nice questions and tips to be encouraged.

Stuff + Nonsense :: The Hopeful Starfish A post from a friend IRL about not letting the "extra" on the internet take away precious time.


Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Weekly Capture LVII first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 26 July 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Make Your Own Awesome Bubbles {Recipe}


These days Bubbles definitely make our Top 10 outdoor activities list. Dom is finally getting to that stage where he can help blow them, and B is delighted by the chasing and popping of them. And on a plus side, they are the perfect "calming tool" for those kiddOs who have temper tantrums brought on by being overly frustrated with their inability to communicate (ask me how I know this...). They've been such a great and quick way to get outside and enjoy the summery weather.

After pulling out a bottle of "Miracle" bubbles last week that were anything but miraculous, I decided to throw together a homemade mix.

Honestly, it makes ever so much more sense to make your own. They work better. They're Waaaaaaay cheaper and ever so easy. And for all you Real Foodies out there, it's the perfect use for that corn syrup you might have used way back when and now is sitting dusty on the back of some pantry shelf.


Here's our Homemade Mixture for Awesome Bubbles:

1/2 cup dish soap (Joy Non-Ultra Dishwashing Liquid has had the best results for us)

1/2 cup corn syrup

2 cups of H2O


Measure out all ingredients. Put first two ingredients into a container with sealing lid that you don't mind devoting to Bubbles. Put the top on and give the mixture a good shaking until the syrup starts to dissolve. Then add the water and shake well until thoroughly mixed.



Use old wands from other bubble experiences, check out this Bubble Bonanza (27 Pieces) Set, make your own wands from metal clothes hangers or pipe cleaners, or get creative with recycled materials. The possibilities are endless.



A photo attempt to show you how much we enjoyed these awesome bubbles. B mostly just wanted to show off his shark. Enjoy my lovely mama hairdo/it's-outta-my-face-for-now undo. 



And B's death stare in this one just kills me. 




Have fun blowing bubbles!

Sarah



Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Make Your Own Awesome Bubbles {Recipe} first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 25 July 2013

Usborne Books: Stock up for the School Year!

Hey friends! Just wanted to let you know of a great opportunity to get some new books for the upcoming school year (and everyday!) while supporting a sweet friend of mine, Micah. Usborne offers tons of great books (and flashcards as well as other activity books!) that are perfect for educating, reading time, and more. Their products range from early baby literacy through middle school ages and cover a variety of themes and specialties.

{Picture from Micah's FB page}

So, go 'Like' Micah's Facebook page, check out the party she's put together for me, and then shop for some wonderful books.

Also on the Party Event Page there will be games and ways for you to win free and discounted books, so RSVP "Yes" for a chance to win. The "Party" ends on Monday at midnight EST.

Here are a few books that are on my Wish list, so you can see what Usborne offers:



















1001 Things to Spot on the Farm Ages: 3+




















Flip Flap Body Book




















Wipe-Clean First Letters - perfect for PreSchool!




















Dot-to-Dot Machines




















Hide-and-Seek Dragons




















Stories of Knights + Castles


Happy Shopping +  Reading!
Sarah


Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Usborne Books: Stock up for the School Year! first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 25 July 2013 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Still here, just resting


You know how sometimes you are well aware that your body (and mind and soul) all need a long overdue rest? I've been in need of one forever, but at the same time, I'm terribly great at pushing said rest off over and over again. Slowing down is not one of my strengths, but this week it's been somewhat forced upon me.

Therefore, I am just checking in quick to say Hi. As I had to borrow a computer to make this quick update, this will probably be one of few for the next week or so. We are on a 10 day vacation visiting family + friends, and (very importantly) celebrating my cousin's marriage tomorrow. LegenDaddy accidentally left his computer home, which has meant less work, more rest for me. A not so gentle reminder to me that I need to slow down. But, sometimes I need those.

So, instead of me keeping up with blogging and work stuff, I've been doing a lot of this:


A fair amount of this:


A tiny bit o this:


And of course, LOTS of these (loving on my boyOs faces of course!):


We're having a lovely and mostly restful (though not in a sleeping sort of way) time away from our boxed up home. I might check in once or so in the next week, but until then toodle-oo, and hope you're keeping cool in this HOT July weather.

Cheerio,
Sarah



Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Still here, just resting first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 19 July 2013





Saturday, July 13, 2013

Weekly Capture LVI



A crazy week of packing up this house has left me with little energy and nothing much to share with you. It's been a lot of this:


And some of this:



Last week, however, we got a break from the packing and there was no wrap-up because we spent the 4th of July holiday weekend in Lake George (up in the Adirondack Mountains of NY) with LegenDaddy's extended family. The weather stayed cool enough to enjoy most of the time, and we did many great activities that we were able to check off our bucket list.

Due to lack of time and brainpower, you get to enjoy a mostly visual recap. Enjoy this super quick capture of our week, and hopefully as we get our lives back in line, I'll return to posts of a normal length and more quality stuffing. =)


Out of the Mouth of Dom

(You get extras when I miss a week!)

"I would love a plum! Is it like a plumcot?"

"This rubber band was yours from when you were an old lady."

"Ugh. It's Barbie. And princesses. This not for me! Turn it off."

"Mama, that nap was a boring one. I didn't even sleep."

Overheard from my boy who are "napping" in the other room:
"B, are we going on vacation in 3 days? Are we? Why yes, yes we are!"
Giggles from B.

Overheard this: "Bam! I just tranquilizered your computer!!!"
And this is what we get for introducing the boy to Madagascar.

David comes out and Dom tells him, "I ate two crumbs off that plate?"
"You ate the crumbs off that plate?"
"Yeah, two of them... Mom doesn't mind."
"How do you know she doesn't mind?"
"Cuz she's still sleeping."


Updates on Our B

My boy is a selfie LOVER. If he thinks there is a possibility of the phone camera coming out, he comes over, smashes his sweet lil cheek to mine and says "cheEEEEeeese!"




Watching

Introduced the boys to some awesome old time tap dancing routines this week just because. Both were completely glued to the YouTubes.




Checked off our Summer Bucket List

√ Feed ducks

√  Build a sandcastle



√  Swim in a pool


√  Visit 1 (of 2) new churches :: St. Peter's in Saratoga Springs, NY

√  Make jam

√ Watch fireworks


Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Weekly Capture LVI first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 13 July 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Celebrating the Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha




Perhaps St. Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced Gah-deh-lee Deh-gah-quee-tah in Mohawk) is not as well known as many of the other saints we see and recognize in our Feasting throughout the year, but for us she is special because she was born not so far away from where we live. Because where she lived is so close, we have had the opportunity to visit two NY Shrines that honor her: the St. Kateri Takakwitha Shrine in Fonda, NY and the Shine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY. A relatively new saint, being canonized only last year on October 21st, she is the first North American Native American woman saint.

Kateri was born in 1956 near present day Auriesville, NY to a Mohawk father and a Catholic Algonquin mother. When she was very young, a smallpox epidemic hit her village, and she was left orphaned, scarred physically, and with bad eyesight. Dutifully, relatives took her in. She later moved across the river to a village near what is now Fonda, NY. As she reached adulthood, her family pressured her to marry, but she remained strong in her desire to stay a virgin.

Around the age of 17, she began learning more about the Catholic faith from the Jesuit missionaries. Father Jacques de Lamberville began catechizing her and deemed her ready for Baptism at the age of 20. This was significant because the Jesuit missionaries were hesitant to baptize new converts because it was difficult to tell how committed they would remain. Persecuted by others living in her village because of her new Faith, the Jesuits encouraged her to move to a colony of Christian Indians in Canada, which she did. She was sickly and died on the 17th of April in 1680. Her final words were, "Jesus, I love you."

St. Kateri is the patron saint of the environment and ecology, and she is often known as the "Lily of the Mohawks," because of her virginity and piety.


I don't have a lot prepared for this Feast Day, but I wanted to share the few things I had found, and I would love to hear if you celebrate this Saint on Sunday and what you did! So, please share. =)


First, token photos of our crazy little family visiting the Shrines:

Last summer at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine in Fonda, NY



and a week ago at the Shrine for the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY



Food

Here are a few native Mohawk dishes to celebrate St. Kateri's heritage!

Mohawk Corn Bread from Catholic Culture

Mohawk Milk Cake from Hi Cookery

Other appropriate foods would include venison, small game (if you eat it!), fish, corn, beans, squash, and so on!


Crafts + Activities

Catholic Icing, ever ready with amazing ideas, had this great post a craft project originally to celebrate St. Kateri's canonization, but it would be perfect for her feast day as well. Lacy also has this wonderful gathering of links to other crafts, activities, + coloring pages.

Here are a couple other great craft ideas over on Family at the Foot of the Cross's blog. I love love love her toilet paper tube version of the Saint. How creative is that?

Love this coloring page from Happy Saints. So fun!


Books






In closing, here is the Prayer for the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. I thought it was very lovely.

O God, who, among the many marvels of Your Grace in the New World, did cause to blossom on the banks of the Mohawk and of the St. Lawrence, the pure and tender Lily, Kateri Tekakwitha, grant we beseech You, the favor we beg through her intercession, that this Young Lover of Jesus and of His Cross may soon be counted among the Saints of Holy Mother Church, and that our hearts may be enkindled with a stronger desire to imitate her innocence and faith. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us. 



Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Celebrating the Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 11 July 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Letting the Sweet Moments Trump the Not So Sweet

What a trying past month it has been. It's been a particularly difficult time parenting as we learn to deal with new behavior issues arising in both boys. Travels, packing to move, and so forth have just added to other stresses.


It's been a month of:

Dom reaching an all time high for yelling, ignoring us, and just plain old grumpiness and B being in full temper tantrum mode whenever he doesn't get his way, which is pretty much all the time. At least according to his holler factor.

Cutting my finger on the sharp edge of a packing tape holder. Stupid me stuck it in my purse and then reached in not looking. Needless to say... blood, pain, and way too much care o my finger tip.

Poop falling on the floor. Only cloth diapering moms will understand.

Dom (who has been potty trained for 1 year mind you) has been "wetting" his pants. Wetting equals a tiny spot that necessitates the changing of the underwear, but he's obviously in control enough to not thoroughly wet.

A flat tire on our only vehicle from us driving over a nail. I always thought that was only a movie thing.

Being on poop duty to find a pebble that B so sneakily swallowed. (All those poop haters, you're gonna have to get over it - I feel 30% of mamahood is bodily fluids).

Insomnia. Major insomnia. Along with a side of 1.5 year old who doesn't sleep through the night means one overtired mama.

Several overturned glasses of milk in one 24 hour period.

Major lack of patience from those who dwell here in the daytime (meaning not LegenDaddy). I've been trying my darndest to yell less and react out of my frustration not at all. It's only working 50/50. Which in turn just makes me mad at myself.


But in the midst of the daily undercurrent of complaining, frustration, and just life's toils, I'm also struck by the sweet things that have made it through.

Dom's listening and reactions may be under the bar we hold him to, but there are those moments you just want to kiss him for his kindness.

Like when I look back while driving, and I see him reach over to hold his brother's hand.

Or a few week's back, he noticed that Daddy had no towel hanging on his rod in the bathroom. So, he took it upon himself to go into the clean linens and pick him out a new one. Photo evidence below of this sweet move. I left it up all day until LegenDaddy actually needed a towel.


And I might be totally over B's screaming and laying on the floor whenever the waves don't flow in his direction.

But when I squat down to grab something out of the fridge, and I feel tiny arms grab around me, and I hear a tiny voice saying "Huuuug." Those moments I can hold forever.


I try not to use the blog as a complaining forum because really, who wants to hear a complainy voice all the time? At the same time, I think of the many times I hear people gush over how together I am or how great a mom I am. I thank you for these kind words. Because I am the one who knows that this morning when my 3 year old dumped food everywhere, I snapped back at him instead of taking into account that it was probably accidental.

Life is a flow of the good and the bad. It's not always easy, but it's not always hard either. And though I go to bed weary tonight, I plan to rise tomorrow looking for those sweet moments.



Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Letting the Sweet Moments Trump the Not So Sweet first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 10 July 2013



Five Favorites {Vol. 17}

Wow. It's been quite a week, so I feel I actually need to stop, and a Five Favorites post is the perfect way this morning. With packing our whole house up in prep to move, being in between vacations, and putting together activities and food for St. Benedict's Feast Day tomorrow, I think I might be up to my eyeballs in to-do lists. So, here is my respite for the morning. Enjoy!


{1.}


Why hellO there, Beautiful books! Pretty sure my already much over-filled bookshelves might need this colorful addition of Literary Classics from the Penguin Drop Caps series. I technically already own about half of these, but more lovely copies are always welcome on my shelves.

Good news for those who don't want to pay the steep price for the set: they're available singly (link to The Secret Life of Bees), too!


{2.}

 


This Ikea Ekorre Hanging Seat would make an absolutely terrific addition to our new home. I have this little room right off our bedroom that we intend to make into a little book nook/reading area, and this Hammock seat would be perfect for in there. 

{3.}
  


I have been on the lookout for a MeiTei style baby carrier for when we have our next kid (nope, not a pregnancy announcement) as I love my Moby, but the crazy long straps just aren't conducive for trips out of the house. I have a hard time finding patterns that I love in most carriers, so when I came across this Eric Carle animal themed carrier by Gracie and Sam on Etsy, I was thrilled. Our family is a huge fan of any Mr. Carle books, and the bright colors paired with the red straps is just perfect for me. So, for next baby, this is one of my top picks. =)



{4.}
                               



Mmmm. Yum. Think I need me some chocolate pudding, and obviously homemade is the way to go. This looks super delicious. Plus the author of the blog, Marc, sold me with this quote, "no, Hershey’s and Nestle don’t count as high quality "

{5.}


Totally loving this attic converted photo studio of Meg Borders. What a sweet and cozy place. I dream of one day having some sort of space similar to this, where I can have an in home office and work space. It sure would beat having my "office" being one corner of the dining room. See more of her studio and its details here.


Happy Wednesday e'rybody! 
Sarah

Linking up with the ever fab MoxieWife today! 



Want to follow my blog? It's easy - subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner. 
You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::

This post Five Favorites {Vol. 17} first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 10 July 2013

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...