I haven't been posting much of substance lately, I know. I "write" in my head all the time, but very little has been making it here. I don't know if it's the time change, getting over the flu, 3rd trimester pregnancy, or the crazy tree pollen that has my head so plugged up that I feel like I'm walking underwater all day...boy, I'd give my left arm for some Claritin...but I'm really struggling to just make it through the day the last couple of weeks. I'm super tired and really forgetful (more than usual!), and it's all very irritating because, HELLO, I am 31 weeks pregnant today! and I have lots of stuff to DO before this baby comes!!! This has all affected our Lenten plans as well...so many things I've wanted to do have fallen through the cracks in my poor brain. Many, many days I forget to pray the Chaplet with the kids, many, many days we have forgotten our sacrifice jars, or the kids will remember just as I'm tucking them in and I'll be too tired to bother and promise them we'll remember tomorrow...I'm hoping to do a better job during Holy Week. We did manage to pull off a little something for St. Patrick's Day last week...I know, it's not until Monday, but the Church has asked that we not celebrate on Monday because it's during Holy Week and would be inappropriate to celebrate during a time of recollection and repentance. The other day, Maria read aloud Tomie de Paola's picture book about the life of St. Patrick. She made Irish soda bread all by herself, I made corn beef, cabbage, and potatoes in the crock pot (which is *really* easy to do, btw, if you've never tried it), and we both made lime pie and lime punch for dessert...it was all very, very yummy! We had a little mishap with the soda bread...the recipe called for the butter to be cut into the flour with a pastry cutter, which Maria didn't know how to do, so I told her I'd be right there to help her. While she was waiting, she decided to go ahead and add the wet ingredients,,,so, I couldn't cut the butter in after that! We substituted vegetable oil instead and kept our fingers crossed, and it actually came out pretty good...good enough that I've been toasting the leftovers for breakfast. It's pretty yummy with some apricot jam.
I had plans to do something yesterday for the Solemnity of St. Joseph, but just couldn't muster it up...sorry St. Joseph. :( We went to Palm Sunday mass last night. John was working today, and since the kids didn't have PSR this morning, we decided to go to mass with John for a change. Jack, however, reminded me why we don't do evening masses anymore. At the beginning of this mass, they have the children process through the church with palm branches. I thought Jack would love to do this. We never found out though, because he didn't even make it through the opening prayer before he started screeching and had to be taken out. He fell asleep on my lap in the Narthex and so I spent mass there, returning long enough to lug his sleeping 40 pounds over my pregnant belly as I lumbered up for communion. I'm not sure what to do about services this week for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. I love to go to these services...but John is working a lot this week, I don't think he's likely to be off, and I dread taking the boys by myself.
As for Easter plans...well, this year is just a season of "doing what you can do" all around. John is working Easter Sunday...such are the hazards of being married to a nurse. My favorite mass of the whole year is the Easter vigil mass. We usually go to the one at Little Portion Hermitage, and it is *lovely*. It's also very late, and very long. Last year, John had to leave with Jack very soon into the mass and so he missed the whole thing. And this year, John wouldn't even be able to come. That, combined with the thoughts of managing Kain long after his Adderall has worn off, has me making other plans. The boys and I will go to one of the Sunday morning masses at our own parish instead and join my parents at the Hermitage afterwards for the Easter egg hunt and Easter dinner. Maria will have a great experience though. My parents are picking her up on Wednesday and she will stay with them until Sunday. This means she will get to go to Holy Week services at the Hermiage, including their Holy Saturday Seder meal...I'm so jealous! I've never been to their Seder and have always wanted to go, but I've always had a young child in tow and it's late and long and not really a fun thing for little kids. Ah well...such things are for another season of life I guess.
Here's some random pictures of the last week or so....
Last week we had a lovely warm day with temperatures around 70 degrees, so we planned another nature walk, this time with some friends. The photos aren't as good, or as plentiful. John was working this time, so I had my hands full trying to keep Jack out of the creek.
This is a picture of Kain's adopted dogwood tree,,,you can't tell here, but there are some leaf buds swelling. Maria missed her tree somehow on the walk...a hazard of hiking with friends along I guess.
Here's Jack engaging in his favorite hiking activity, throwing rocks in the water. He could do this all day. Shortly after this, he waded in up to his ankles when I wasn't watching and spent the rest of the day with wet feet.
And here is a sign of Real Spring...daffodils along the side of the trail starting to bud.
And Jack, pooped out at the end of the day. It was a long one...after the hike, we had a picnic lunch and then headed on to a vision therapy appointment for Maria and a midwife appointment for me.
Speaking of midwife appointments, things are progressing well for Peanut. Like my baby ticker over there on the right? It's pretty cool, huh? Except that I'm pretty sure the baby is past the floating around stage anymore. It's definitely been head down for the last two weeks at least, and I'm sure it's too tight in there to float like that anymore! He/she is getting big,,,which of course means *I* am getting big. That hike pictured up there just about did me in! When I came down with the flu, the midwife started hounding me in earnest to switch my diet around. She's really big into this raw foods/vegan stuff. Sure, that's what I want when I'm horribly ill, a big ole plate of salad and nuts! Sorry, but I just can't do that. I could never tell the midwife, but when we were all sick most of what we ate came out of a can our a drive-thru. John does not cook, ever, and *I* sure wasn't cooking anything. Usually though, I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, most of them raw, and I feel like our diet is usually pretty healthy,,,we eat mostly whole foods and I'm slowly switching over to more organic choices as I can find ways to lower my grocery bill in other areas,,,but being pregnant with three kids is just not the time for major lifestyle overhaul...besides, not to tweak any noses, but I've never been convinced that this whole raw foods thing is the healthiest way to go. It's not something I've researched much, I don't have the interest for it, and besides, if I had the discipline to follow such a strict diet I'd be way skinnier!, but I can't begin to see how you can get enough protein that way, especially pregnant women and children.
Ok, well, that's enough rambling commentary for now. The kids have Blue Knights/Little Women groups this afternoon, so I need to get busy getting everyone ready to head out this afternoon.