7 Quick Takes

This week, I've been doing a lot reading online. There are so many great articles/blogs. It's a fantastic way to keep my brain working while I'm away from teaching.

This article was mind-blowing because as a former NYC HS teacher, we couldn't even give the kids a cough drop. Never mind the ramifications of giving the children prescription contraceptives.
Folk music in Catholic Churches: Does it belong in the Mass?
After attending a quasi-rock Mass on Sunday I've been giving a lot of thought to the role of music  in the Liturgy. I was taught in HS how to pick music for a Mass and it really bothers me when people use the music as an opportunity for grandstanding. 
Because sometimes you just need a little encouragement...
YES! Someone gets it!

Mayim Bialik's Blog
Simply because I LOVE her. She has definitive beliefs that she stands by regardless of the situation. She is an incredible parent and wonderful role model for young mothers.

What have you been reading this week? Feel free to send me some fodder for thought! 

Wordless Wednesday

This is how my son sleeps...

Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

One of our favorite things to do is go to different museums and events in the area. The Fall is a wonderful time for outdoor festivals and fairs. The Smithsonian Museums are such a great gift to our country. I have been to almost all of them in Washington D.C. while visiting my hubby while we were dating. I have also been to the Native American Museum in Lower Manhattan. It is wonderful to be able to take in a bit of culture for FREE! The museums are so well done, I am always impressed every time we go to one.

While reading the Sunday Newsday, I discovered the Smithsonian Museum Day. Basically, you can download free tickets to a museum in your area for admission on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Don't fret, if you aren't from NY, there are participating museum all over the U.S.!


Unfortunately with turning four months old comes immunizations...We have decided we will immunize Charlie on "schedule". I have to say the whole process is absolutely horrible.  I love our pediatrician but, she will not allow me to breastfeed him while she is giving him the shots so, there are lots of tears on both mommy's part and baby's part. 

Today, he got four vaccines. Three shots and one oral. I am blessed because Charlie, so far, hasn't had a terrible reaction to them. He is definitely more irritable than usual but, otherwise he's O.K. I honestly think it is more traumatic for me than him. The biggest difficulty was that as soon as I brought him into the examination room he remembered what happens there and got absolutely hysterical. It broke my mommy heart. I just wanted to take him out of there and never bring him back 

We live in a suburb of NYC therefore, in my opinion it is necessary for him to be vaccinated otherwise we wouldn't do it. I cannot even describe how much I just wanted to punch the nurse giving him the shots and grab the little man and run away. Ugh...at least we have a two month reprieve until the next ones...

Our 4 Month Old

 Our sweet little boy turned 4 months old on the 22nd! His uncle Edward and Julia came from DC to visit so, we took a trip to Martin Viette to pick some pumpkins, see some farm animals, and take a bunch of silly pictures!
 We lucked out because there weren't many people there so we could take Charlie all over without much trouble.
 Charlie has figured out how to pull his knees under him to push himself forward on his belly. At this point his arms aren't strong enough to hold himself up while he is pushing with his legs. It is super cute to watch him try to crawl. He loves to play with anything that lights up and plays music. Most recently he enjoys knocking over block towers that we build with his cloth blocks.

 On his birthday he had a few licks of avocado. He really enjoyed it and wanted more. He seemed to react just fine to his first taste of food. He has been really interested in what we have been eating, so much so that he was trying to grab my mashed potatoes last Sunday. We will not be giving him cereal. Our  plan is go very slowly. He still nurses about every two hours. Sleeping isn't happening so much anymore. Hopefully, he'll start to sleep in  longer spurts again. (He's been up every 1-2 hours recently.)
 Charlie takes two naps a day one at 10 AM and one at 2:30 PM. It is like clockwork. He gets fussy then goes to sleep . He doesn't sleep long. (Maybe an hour) But, it is a nice break for me! We are having so much fun taking Charlie every where! He has the most adorable giggle. He learned to blow raspberries this week. It is absolutely hilarious because he wants you to do it back. He is really enjoying going to the various programs at the library. Next month he will start going to a rhyme time which is every week at one of the neighboring libraries. He has started sitting in the "big boy" seat  in his stroller. He doesn't like laying in the bassinet anymore since he can't really see what is going on. When we drive in the car he enjoys looking out the window rather than napping. Charlie still loves going to church. He is recognizing our friend Fr. Mike's voice and he will look around the church until he spots him . It is so cute! He was very confused by the guitars at church today. He is used to the organ at the adult Masses. He enjoys listen to the music. He frequently makes sounds that sound like he is singing along.
Catch up on previous posts:
Our Three Month Old
Our Two Month Old
Our One Month Old

7 Quick Takes

We might be turning a corner with regard to the little guys sleeping. He woke up three times in twelve hours... NOT BAD! 

As usual, the meal plan didn't exactly go as planned. 

Wednesday's dinner was super easy, quick, and tasty! I didn't even have to go out to the market to get ingredients. This all occurred because I defrosted the wrong meat on Monday night. 

Thursday's dinner was baked ziti and chicken parmesan. Mmm...comfort food. Why comfort food? Well, the hair salon turned my mother's hair blue. Needless to say, she needed a little comforting (and a large glass of white wine) after the whole ordeal. In case you were wondering, her hair is back to a normal color. 

Since we went apple picking last weekend, we have tons of apples to use. This is what is in the oven right now. I can't believe how easy it was to make!! 

I never thought I'd be the mom that had to crawl away from her son's crib but, I am. He will fall asleep on his own without nursing. However, I have to stand there. When he notices I'm gone, he wakes up. Therefore, in order to type this post, I just crawled out of his room. I feel like a special agent. 

One of my college roommates send this to me this morning. I LOVE IT! (Of course, Charlie and I clicked our heels together after reading it and went to the beach!)

Just one of those weeks...

It appears to be one of those weeks where Charlie has given up sleeping...no napping...no overnight sleeping. He does fall asleep while nursing but, only for 20 minutes to one hour. That makes one sleep deprived mommy. Yes, I know this happens...Yes, I know he is a baby...but, that doesn't make it any easier. Last week he slept 6-8 hours. I miss it!

Yesterday, I really felt like I just had absolutely no patience. I am grateful for the girls at #CathSorority. Their kind words and prayers helped me to put things in perspective yesterday.

This whole "mom" stuff isn't easy. Yesterday, for the first time, I thought it might have just been easier to go back to my old job. (Which is completely shocking because I never would have thought teaching 7 out of 8 periods a day of math would be appealing.)

Today, I know I wouldn't give this up for anything.

Yes, I'm exhausted.
Yes, I haven't showered.
Yes, I'm in my pj's.
Yes, I haven't done laundry.
Yes, I haven't washed the floor.


I am able to spend the day at home with Charlie.
I will be able to shower later because my wonderful husband will come home.
I have clean clothes to put on when I get a chance.
I made Charlie smile.
I hear Charlie's squeals and giggles.

I took a break while typing this to check out some blogs and I found this prayer. It is PERFECT for days like these. It makes me feel better to know that there are other people who have rough days and they get through it.

Plan for today:

- Stuff pocket diapers
- Get at least one load of laundry done
- Wash kitchen and bathroom floor
- Vacuum first floor

Linking to:

Weekend RECAP!

On Friday night, we went to family night at Planting Field Arboretum. There were lots of families with picnics and little ones running around. Several families brought their infants. The DJ kept everyone entertained. Charlie love watching the people dance under the lights of the portico. He had never been outside in the dark before but, he seemed to enjoy listening to the sounds in the woods.

On Saturday, we went to the East End Greenfest. We were a bit disappointed because there wasn't anything really to do there. There were plenty of booths with people encouraging you to buy solar panels for your house. We spoke to the ladies at the babywearing booth who had a lovely comfortable nursing station set up. But, other than that there were a few carnival rides. We walked around for a few minutes and ended up leaving to go apple picking.

Woodside Farms was located just down the road. They have dwarf trees which are perfect for the little ones to pull the apples off the tree. (They are also good for us shorties!) The orchard was a wonderful experience we shared apple cider slushies (YUM!) and apple cider donuts. We came home with a peck of apples. I'll certainly be baking some yummy apple treats this week so, if you have a favorite apple recipe feel free to leave the link down below in the comments section.

On the way back home we stopped at a farm stand that had some amazing pumpkins. Of course we had to take lots of pictures.
On Sunday, we used the library pass for Old Westbury Gardens. I have to say that I was mildly disappointed because  it was really hard to get around with the stroller. I should have used the Moby but, the little guy was already asleep when we arrived. Usually, putting him in the Moby will wake him up and make him very unhappy for awhile. The grounds were beautiful. Next time we go I'll wear him and it will certainly be more enjoyable for all of us.

Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Menu Plan


Black Bean, Corn and Spinach Enchiladas adapted from Sweet Happy Life

10 corn tortillas
1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
1 box of frozen chopped spinach cooked and drained
1 12 oz. package of frozen corn kernels cooked
2 cans enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Stir together black beans, spinach, and frozen corn kernels. Add cumin. Microwave the tortillas for 1 min. wrapped in moist paper towels. In each tortilla, place approximately two teaspoonfuls of the spinach mixture and one pinch of cheddar cheese. Roll each tortilla. Place it seam side down in a casserole dish. Pour the two cans of enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Distribute the remaining cheese over the tortillas. Cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Black Bean, Corn, and Nectarine Salsa

1/2 small onion diced
1/2 large tomato or 1 small tomato cubed
1 nectarine cubed
7 oz. black beans drained and rinsed
6 oz. frozen corn kernel cooked

Mix together and refrigerate for 30 min before serving to let the flavors come together.

Date Night

Roasted Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
String Beans

Mom's Stuffed Peppers (Bell Peppers, elbows, ground beef, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese)

Teriyaki Steak
Brown Rice

Black Bean and Corn Chili 
Left over brown rice

Chicken Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

I'm an Organizing Junkie - Menu Plan Monday
StoneGable's On the Menu Monday

7 Quick Takes

Where did this week go?  I feel like I just wrote one of these.
Charlie and I went to Play Hooray at one of the local libraries today. There were a few more babies his age and one mama that I was friendly with in high school. Both Charlie and I enjoyed our time at the library.
I'm psyched to go to the East End GreenFest (possibly) this weekend. I'm thinking that if we don't make it I might attempt to go on Monday.
I found a mom's group of women who support/are interested in babywearing. One of them even cloth diapers. We have a meetup scheduled for Oct 3. Hopefully, I"ll let to know some other local moms.
Where did Fall go? It was so nice and crisp on Monday now, it is almost 80. Really??? It's September!
The only reason I am bummed about the warm weather is because the beach is pretty much off limits due to the insane amount of bees. I tried to take Charlie for a walk yesterday and there were gazillions of bees.
Speaking of bugs, there are some crazy big bugs around here. I think we might try to brave them and head to Planting Fields tonight for Family night. We'll see how brave I am at 6:30.

Round and round she goes...

I know every mother says, "They grow up so fast!" But, it is true! And, time flies!

I cannot believe that Charlie will be 4 months old on the 22nd and I've been home (not working) for  two whole weeks already. There is so much I want to do and I'm glad I have the time to do it with Charlie. We've discovered a monthly Baby & Me class at one of the local libraries and we are taking advantage of the museum passes. I also was reminded that the Bronx Zoo on Wednesday's is "pay what you wish"! Last week, Newsday published a list of places to go apple picking! Hopefully this weekend we get go to the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium, go apple picking, or see a football game at my brother's college. It will entirely depend on whether we have visitors or not. No matter what happens, we will do at least one of these activities.

Last night, Charlie managed to sleep 8 hours straight!!! Granted, I kept waking up to make sure he was O.K. but, I got so much sleep! (I know today probably won't be as good but, I'll take it when I can get it.) This is just another one of those signs that our little boy is growing up. He still really enjoys music. Unfortunately for those around me (fortunately for Charlie), he really enjoys it when I sing silly songs in a high pitched voice and dance around. I can only imagine what it would have looked like last night while I was cooking dinner, bouncing back and forth, and singing do you know the muffin man at the top of my lungs to my little boys smiling away at mommy. (These are times that I sometimes wish I had a webcam just for me to see how silly/crazy things get around here.)

Friend's of ours recently moved to Austin, Texas. They forwarded us some photos of their son who is almost 10 mos. old. In just the few short weeks they've been gone, he learned to crawl, pull himself up, and take some steps on his own. It is absolutely unbelievable! I can't wait to see them at Christmas time. The boys might actually be able to play together. (Probably, delusional mom thinking but...maybe?)

I still haven't found a "mom" group or "mom" friends but, so far I've been doing O.K. I am grateful for Facebook because I have found a wonderful group of Catholic women, some of which are moms, to interact with on almost a daily basis. Hopefully, I'll get to meet up with some of them in the coming months.

Charlie and I have been filling our days listening to music: played by me on the piano, children's music, Catholic hymns, Christian pop, and classical piano concertos. He loves "reading" books. He gets so excited when pages turn. I'm thinking of trying to make some footprints and handprints with Charlie. I'm sure Pinterest will come to my rescue with a recipe for the dough. Photobucket
Thrive @ Home Thursday

Wednesday Night Dinner: Bruschetta Chicken & Baked Ziti

After an impromptu Chinese take out dinner last night, I decided to cook dinner tonight on a whim only using what we already had purchased over the weekend. So much for the menu plan from Monday!

Bruschetta Chicken

1 box cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 onion, diced
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 package Perdue Perfect Portions Italian Style

Grill chicken. In an frying pan, put olive oil and onions. Cook onions about 5 min. until clear. Add tomatoes. Cook another 10 min. Put tomatoes and onions on top of chicken. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Serve warm or room temperature.

Baked Ziti

1 box ziti
1 can crushed tomatoes
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese Sliced

Cook ziti according to directions on box. In a large bowl, mix together crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, and ricotta cheese. Add ziti. Put mixture in a casserole dish. Place slices of mozzarella cheese on top of ziti mixture. Cook covered in 350 degree oven until cheese is melted.

September 11th

September 11th...9/11...

"God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: 
peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth." - Catholic.org

Whenever I hear that date, my stomach turns into a knot. I was a freshmen at the University of Scranton on 9/11/01. I am trying not to relive the day. I am not watching the newscast. I am not reading the paper. This does not mean that I am not remembering the lives lost that day. I remember...

This year is different than the others because for the first time I realize that someday I will have to explain the day to my son who wasn't alive on 9/11/01. I will have to tell him why the streets in our neighborhood have victim's names on them. I will have explain why there are two large pieces of steel from the towers at the beach. I will show him the memorial in our church.

I presume this is one of those things that you just do. You just explain it when they ask.

Today, I am blessed to have my sweet little boy happily playing with his feet on the bed oblivious to all of the hate, crime, and terrorism in our world. It is wonderful to see how innocent his is.

My prayers today are for peace.

O God of love, compassion, and healing, 
look on us, people of many different faiths 
and traditions, 
who gather today at this site, 
the scene of incredible violence and pain. 
We ask you in your goodness 
to give eternal light and peace 
to all who died here— 
the heroic first-responders: 
our fire fighters, police officers, 
emergency service workers, and 
Port Authority personnel, 
along with all the innocent men and women 
who were victims of this tragedy 
simply because their work or service 
brought them here on September 11, 2001. 

We ask you, in your compassion 
to bring healing to those 
who, because of their presence here that day, 
suffer from injuries and illness. 
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families 
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. 
Give them strength to continue their lives 
with courage and hope. 

We are mindful as well 
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss 
on the same day at the Pentagon and in 
Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 
Our hearts are one with theirs 
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering. 

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: 
peace in the hearts of all men and women 
and peace among the nations of the earth. 
Turn to your way of love 
those whose hearts and minds 
are consumed with hatred. 
God of understanding, 
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, 
we seek your light and guidance 
as we confront such terrible events. 
Grant that those whose lives were spared 
may live so that the lives lost here 
may not have been lost in vain. 

Comfort and console us, 
strengthen us in hope, 
and give us the wisdom and courage 
to work tirelessly for a world 
where true peace and love reign 
among nations and in the hearts of all. 

Pope Benedict XI--Prayer at Ground Zero 
New York, 20 April 2008 

10 Years Later
9 Years Later

Saturday Night With Gram and Charlie

Charlie sporting one of his new outfits from Kendra .
Reading the paper with Gram. He figured out how to make his toy from  Uncle Andrew play music. We've been listening to the same five songs over and over again.
(Unfortunately, it won't let me make the video play in the correct direction.)

At the moment, Charlie loves toys that play music. 
His favorite toy is his Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. 
I think he is partial to this toy because it play music, lights up and is easily controlled. 

7 Quick Takes

This week went by super fast! I can't believe it is Friday already. We still aren't back to our routine since Gram was home for most of the week. We did have lots of fun!
Our trip to the Botanical Gardens was absolutely amazing. They have a recreation (plant for plant) of what Monet's gardens looked like. One of my mother's friend's sons is a set designer on Broadway and created the bridge at the garden. It was AWESOME! For some people the only down side might be that you can't bring strollers into the conservatory. 
Inspired by another blogger, I'm making a concerted effort to resume cooking because, "Well, you've gotta eat!" Tonight for dinner is zucchini/eggplant lasagna, Babaganoush (because I bought too much eggplant), and Meatballs.
I'm not really sure what we are going to do this weekend. I feel like this time of year is the black hole of seasons. It isn't quite summer anymore but, it isn't really fall yet. 
The commercials for Long Island Medium are really annoying 
I'm debating "unfreinding" anyone who posts anything political on Facebook. I don't care if I agree with them or disagree with them. They are just really annoying. 
Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda is amazing! It is the closest thing I have found to Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper ( which doesn't exist ). Dr. Pepper only makes Diet Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper! The Dr. Brown's soda is caffeine free! YAY! 

Monet's Garden at New York Botanical Garden and A Visit to Fordham University (In Photos)

We are very fortunate to have a local library with FREE passes to a variety of museums, the New York Botanical Gardens, and the Fish Hatchery. These passes will be a great way for Charlie and I to get out and see new places without spending any extra money. Our library does not require you to make any advanced reservations. Each pass is given on a first come, first served basis. You can use the passes as many times as you would like. (I know this not that case at the library my mother works at. You can reserve there 30 days in advance. However, they have limitations on how many times you can use a particular pass in a particular time period.)

Charlie's ready to go visit his uncle at Fordham! Aren't his little sandals cute??

It's Fall!

Starbucks has a great deal on LivingSocial right now. $5 for $10 Starbucks Gift Card! I purchased one to help offset the cost of my guilty pleasure: Pumpkin Spice Lattes! If three other people purchase through my link, I'll get my gift card for free! Here's to Pumpkin Spice Latte season!

I am really a stay at home mom.

The kids are back to school. The teachers are back to work. The LIE is backed up at Utopia Pkwy.

What am I going to do? I need to get into a routine.  Do any of you stay at home moms have a routine you love? Please share!

So far, I've decided that Charlie and I are going to go to a Mommy & Me class at the local library. It is great that they have a class just about every other week FOR FREE! Charlie and I will try to take a walk everyday assuming weather is permitting. I will try to blog 2 - 3 times per week while Charlie is napping. I will try to cook a healthy budget friendly meal at least two times per week.

This week the two things I plan to cook are:

Monterey Chicken (inspired by Rachel)

BBQ Black Bean Thin Crust Pizza

1 thin pizza crust (I use Pillsbury)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 diced onion
1 sweet pepper
2 tsp oil
2.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion and pepper until the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft. (You may want to cook the peppers and onions separately as the peppers take longer to cook.) Spread the crust on a pizza pan or directly on the rack. Spread the bbq sauce on the crust. Add peppers, onions, and beans. Cover with cheddar cheese. Place in oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.


"And I still haven't found what I'm looking for..." - Cloth Diapering

As you may or may not know, I started cloth diapering (except for overnight and outings) a few weeks ago. We have several different types of diapers. (Cloth Diaper Developments) At the beginning I was completely overwhelmed by all of the different types of cloth diapers available. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking the only way to cloth diaper is a Gerber prefold and some pins! There is a whole world of cloth diapers out there. Here is a handy list of abbreviations to help you begin to navigate cloth diapers.

The easiest to use BY FAR are the all in ones (AIOs) because they are most like disposables. However, the primary downfall to all of these diapers is the drying time. In comparison to pocket diapers and covers with prefolds/inserts, they take forever.