Saturday, September 17, 2016

seven on saturday

Linking up with Kelly the Quick Takes Queen!

Thanks to everyone for your advice and encouragement for my very imaginative, school-hating 1st grader, it's so helpful to know I'm not alone in this boat. I've actually implemented none of it, and done nothing at all differently, except that one day when she went on a little meltdown-school-strike I just got all mean-mom on her and really cracked down and it seems like I've nipped it for now. She gets scads of time for play because our structured school time is minimal, so I just felt that she could handle it, and lo and behold, she totally can.

3 is such a hard age, but also the funniest age of them all. Last week Lucy started talking about a man named "Papa Jokes", who she claimed "brought us a meal when she was just born" and "had many children who all died tragic deaths as a result of their teeth being pulled out" and who then "died a tragic death himself". Papa Jokes, ya'll, I'll get to writing his biography asap. 

When we first moved here we paid for a haircut for Joe because when we try to cut it ourselves a) he screams bloody murder like we are trying to cut his head off and 2) I'm the worst ever at hair cuts and it always looks a little bit like I let the 7-year-old try her hand at it. But his hair grows SO fast and is so so thick and he was starting to look like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber...

I really didn't want to pay for another cut, so I just went for it. 

All of it.

Now he looks like Buzz from Home Alone.

Fred is 3 months old and I am completely baffled that he is so big already. 

He is absolutely my most smiley baby yet, but I cannot get him to smile for the camera ever. He is also my earliest laugher and he completely won over everyone at his well visit the other day because if you talk to him he just starts belly laughing. And I did manage to capture that for you.
IMG_2675 from Ana Hahn on Vimeo.

I shared via the Grams a few weeks ago that I had done my first Jillian workout since having Fred, and I am not joking at all when I say that it was my first workout in the past year. I am the least fit pregnant woman ever and my workouts consist of spoon-to-mouth-and-back-to-the-ice-cream-carton level, it's rough, but I manage. Anyways, I realized about a month ago that I should start trying to get back into shape and my go-to since I had Bernadette is to jump start with Jillian's 30 day shred. Say what you will about her-- there is so much to say-- but she always manages to help me out. I did 10 days of level 1 and I am 5 days in to level 2 and solid 8 pounds down! More importantly I feel like I can hold Fred all the live long day as he prefers without hurting myself! I'm sure I'll keep you annoyingly updated once I get to the end of the 30 days. You're so welcome.

Please don't think that I think I'm all that and a bag of fat-free chips or anything, I still have like 20 more pounds to lose, and I am looking to Dwija for all the inspiration on that front, because she is amazing! Carolyn opened her new Etsy shop recently and I am a little obsessed with it-- I'm thinking this Earth print for our school room, yes? My new next door neighbor Annie is an artist with some serious calligraphy talent, click over to her website and stand in awe. Praying for Grace and Simon as they grieve the loss of their sweet little one.

-Fall Fever-
I know everybody is so very excited that fall is on the horizon, but none are as excited as my children, who busted out their puffy vests for the freezing 60 degree temps yesterday. They have been asking me for the rake so that they could start raking the few leaves that have fallen in our yard and since I didn't know where it was I just said "no". Naturally they tapped into their resourceful sides with our sand toys:

It's not child labor if they're volunteering. 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

library fugitives

The kids have been begging to go to the library for a couple of weeks now and I've been avoiding it. Here's a little confession: I hate the library.

I don't hate it outright, but I hate it with kids. I have never gone to the library with children in tow and not left feeling like I might just drive straight to a mental institution and check myself in in the hopes that they have a nursery for me tot drop the kids off at. My older kids are usually ok, but if I go with a toddler, and I always have a toddler or 2, it's a disaster. I know what you're thinking, "No, really?!? A 2-year-old  act up in a library?!". Never.

Also you might be thinking that only an idiot decides to take her FIVE kids, seven and under with the youngest being still a pretty fresh newborn, to a place that asks for relative silence. And you'd be right, I'm a straight-up idiot. I think the only way it could've gone worse is if someone defecated on the floor, but then it would've at least been a more interesting story.

This trip was really the perfect storm too because I decided to go right before the lunch/nap time slot, so right after school we had a hearty snack and around 11:15 we left, hoping we could be back by 12:45 ish and have a late lunch and have naps be a tad later. Insert some maniacal cackling here because obviously having a library trip that close to when children should be eating/sleeping is doomed to fail, and fail it did.

I discovered when I got there that on the day you get a new library card you are only allowed to check 2 items out on it (to which I mentally asked, WTF?!?!) but! If you get a new card for each and every member of your family you get 2 books for each person, making the trip to the library with 5 dependents not a complete and total waste. So I went for that option, filled out 6 forms, one for me and ALL 5 kids, then the sweet but very, very southern and veeeeeeeeery veeeeeeeeeeeeery slow librarian got to getting our cards for us.

Cue a very loud, slow, ominous clock ticking for the duration of this post.

Somewhere in this time Joe let me know he had pooped and I realized that I had no baby wipes, which is the story of my entire mom-life, but I made do with moistened TP and we kept on looking at books and I kept on begging Joseph to "please stop sprint-darting out of the kids section into the the very quiet part of the establishment" to which he responded each time with "NO" and kept running.

Roughly 30 minutes later Sally-Super-Slow Librarian was still getting the library cards and a cute little toddler started throwing a screaming fit and I had the nerve to think to myself "I am so glad that's not Joseph".

So many maniacal cackles, so little time.

10 minutes or less later Joe decided it was his turn and outshined that girl like it was his job, I should really get him into acting because, Oh! the Drama! I have no idea what it was over, and I kind of wondered whether he just saw that girl screaming and thought he'd try his hand at his own tantrum. Not that I'm blaming you little girl, but I am.

At one point he flopped on the ground and rolled over smacking his face on the leg of a chair causing the decibel levels to reach epic heights. Since I can only take so many eye rolls and stares I decided to grab our books and book it (pun alert!) to the counter even thought THEY WERE STILL WORKING ON OUR LIBRARY CARDS, but I did not care and hoped that this would just light a fire under their butts. Let it be known that a slow librarian will speed up for nothing.

As soon as I told the girls we had to leave Lucy joined in the meltdown party with her loudest cries and at that point I was herding my crying crowd out into the very center of the library where the check-out desk is and the woman was "just finishing up" the cards. We literally stood there for 10 more minutes for them to finish this process, all the while Joseph's tantrum is still going on and gaining more momentum every minute. You'd never think it of him

I finally got him to calm down by holding him, which was the only thing that was acceptable to him, and which might not seem like a big D, except that the entire time I had Fred in the mobey wrap and Joseph is approximately 30+ pounds of dead chubby boy weight, so big D it was. THEN the librarian decided to bust out 2 huge bins of toys to reward my ever-so-well-behaved brood (HA!), but the fact that Joe could only have 1 toy sent him back into a tizzy. Around this time some lady, who I assume worked there, came over and asked me if I wanted her to take him and walk him around outside, which I might have acquiesced to except that she kind of scared me, so I didn't.

Just when I thought it was all done and was trying to run out they handed me a clip board that I had to print all of our names on and sign 6 times, while holding Joe, the baby and a bunch of books, before we could leave. I think that was the only point that I might have shot an evil glare at all parties standing behind the main desk gawking, but I signed and we ran out as fast as we could as I yelled-whispered through gritted teeth that we were never EVER coming back to the library again. Not my finest moment as a mother, or a person in general for that matter.

So we all learned a valuable lesson: literacy is for chumps and 2-year-olds do not belong in libraries.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Quick takes, starring Kelly!

Linking up with Kelly a few days late, and dedicating my first few takes to her because....

1) We met!!!

You might be asking why Kelly has the body of a baby and why I am cradling her like so, but luckily this is a blog so I don't have to answer. I truly did get to meet her but since I am still a dedicated user of the flip phone, I did not bust it out to get a selfie with her, though it does have a camera function, but I think it takes some serious work to open the camera and I would imagine it would also take people serious work not to laugh at me for using my flip phone for a selfie. The above picture needs to suffice.

2) I had hoped to go to this fly blog conference, but Mike will be working any and all Saturdays for the foreseeable future so it just didn't jive this year. I was so happy I got to get out to hear her speak the night before the conference though-- she is an amazing inspiration to me and her talk was really fabulous. I was also thrilled because I desperately needed a planner for homeschooling and she happened to be selling hers after the talk.
Coffee and breakfast sold separately.
It is everything I could ever need in a planner and I HIGHLY recommend it. I do not use those capital letters lightly, it is the real deal.

3) I was going to try to get through life as a homeschooling mother without panning anything, but after 1 week of attempting that approach I have learned my lesson. I would like to say that the week continued as smoothly as it started, but unfortunately the 3rd day brought tears-- so, so many tears, and not even from me because I am too damn tired to even cry over anything. But I realized that the more prepared I can be going into the day, the fewer things I am going to be caught off guard by, like a 30 minute tear-filled-school-boycott over reading a 4 page phonics 1st reader.

4) Seriously-- WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THIS MOMS??? Again, take those caps letters seriously, I am in need of some tricks to fight the "I hate school time" fight. It's not even necessarily the work she is given to do, she just wants to play ALL DAY. She is a super imaginative girl and she is fabulous at pretend play, she could do it for hours, so the thought of anything disrupting that sends her into a little fits that just make me want to start drinking at 9:30 a.m. Tips appreciated.

5) I'm sort of a shut-in these days because 5 kids is seriously kicking my butt and taking newborns places is rarely worth it. So to appease my guilt over my kids not getting out as much as they did before Fred came I do things like make homemade playdough and let them have cupcake stands in the front yard.

Joe was pretty sure I made entire thing + all the cupcakes for him and him alone.

6) Fred even came

7) Aaaaand now he's awake so I'm done. Happy Sunday, party people!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

First day of whaaaa?!?!?!

I am still in a little bit of shock that I actually got things together enough to begin school this week. I ordered a bunch of books a few weeks ago and as they trickled in my vom-reflex got stronger and stronger. I have never been so terrified to get into homeschooling, never mind the fact that I've only done 2 years of homeschooling previously, and the first year I was only teaching Naomi to read, although I'd say that is the most difficult task there is for me so far.

There is just something about the build up and the fact that I am always holding myself to some standard that is likely non-existent and me comparing myself to other people, but still, it's hard. 

So the books came and I stared at them for about a week and wrote "lesson plan!" on a to-do list in the hopes that I would actually open them at some point and plan what we were going to do. In the end I just opened them the morning of and picked which lesson we were starting with and that was that. I am an all-star, what can I say?

At the recommendation of couple woman much better at homeschooling than me I decided to do a "slow start" this week and we are only doing the essentials: math, reading, writing and spelling and next week we'll introduce a little more and a little more. It's more for me than them- such good advice.

Homeschooling with a new born is no joke.

But now that we've started I remember that I love it and that the kids crave and thrive on the structure and I am more fulfilled as a mother than ever from being able to teach them during these early formative years. I'm sure if you talk to me in a couple of months I will be singing a different tune, but right now it is good and I am so glad I have them home.

Happy beginning of the school year to you and yours!!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My favorite name

Not to be confused with favorite child, despite my Instagram feed.

Jenna is the woman when it comes to name posts, I love reading all of hers and would've been content to be the happy reader and not write any of my own, but Fred's name is sort of extra-special, so I am going for it just this once. It's not that I don't like the other kids' names-- on the contrary I think they're great-- but aside from our miscarried baby, none of the kids' names have felt especially inspired, except for little Fred.

It's kind of funny, since he likely shares his name with a much higher percentage of men over 80 than children, and I've gotten more than a few audible chuckles from strangers when they ask me what his name is. "Fred? (Audible chuckle), you mean like Frederick?" And then I answer "Nope, just 'Fred'!" and they say something about how cute it is, to save themselves from their little blunder. It's great, I don't mind at all. I know that it's a little old school and different, but every time I tell someone his name, I love the part where I get to tell them who he is named for-- Mike's grandfather, Fred Hahn.

He wasn't Frederick, he was just Fred.

Last year Mike's grandmother "Gigi" passed away. Fred was her husband. I blogged about her after her death because her death was the hardest grandparent death I had experienced. I loved my grandparents and I was very sad when they passed, but I grew to have a relationship with Gigi that I just never had with my own grandparents. You can read more about it if you're really interested.

A few months after she died we found out that we were expecting, and I knew immediately that if it was a boy his name should be Fred. I never knew Mike's grandpa-- he died when Mike was 8 years old, and he himself was only 65-- but after Gigi's death I felt this intense gratitude for her and Fred.

I would not have the husband I have without them and their yes to life, which has brought forth so much more life-- more than I'm sure they ever thought it would.

I wasn't dead set on the middle name initially. I was thinking maybe Fred Escriva for this Saint who I love, or Fred Alvaro for this man who was beatified the year before we found out we were expecting. But then, in the months leading up to getting pregnant, I began reading this book, which is chock full of writings from saints, particularly Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

Mike was always pretty set on Bernard because he has had a special devotion to him ever since he took a class during his doctoral work that focused on him. I remember reading a paper that he wrote about Bernard's spirituality and being almost moved to tears, a marked difference from my typical glazed eyes and confused brain whenever I read most of Mike's theology papers. When Joe was born Mike and I had some head-butting in the hospital about whether Joe would be Joseph Bernard or Joseph Pio. I won, obv.

So Bernard was making his way in my mind and heart, and then Mike had a conversation with his dad after Gigi's death-- after we had found out we were expecting-- where he discovered that his grandpa Fred's mother, who was actually a devout Catholic, belonged to Saint Bernard's parish.

I was entirely sold.

The only part that was left was to find out the gender, and since we were so decided on the boy name, I was even more hopeful that the old Y chromosome would dominate. It did and the baby was officially named.

I might have known about it when Mike's grandma died (if I did I forgot entirely), but it is the icing on the name-cake. About a week ago I was in Mike's office checking out his calendar to be up on his opening of the school year commitments, and I saw that August 20th was the anniversary of Gigi's death. I knew that August 20th was Saint Bernard's feast day, but had not yet put it together that his grandmother died that day. Of course when I excitedly let Mike know, he looked at me like I was a little bit crazy for not having realized it sooner.

But wait! There's more!

Before posting this I ran it by Mike to check all my facts and he let me know that when his dad became Catholic, the parish that we was received in was none other than Saint Bernard's. Mike also let me know that he has, for years, considered Saint Bernard an unofficial patron of the Hahn family. Obviously I'm a little slow on the uptake, oh well.

Either way, all of it has further solidified for me that little Fred Bernard's name is exactly what it should be, and for me it is a tribute, an expression of devotion and a consolation. not bad for a baby name.

Saint Bernard of Clairveaux, pray for us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

number five, stayin alive

This is about  to be one of those blog posts that you skim right on through because you realize right about now that only grandparents or other blood relatives will actually care about it. Or people who really like looking at cute babies, otherwise just scroll on over to your next blog-read.

Sweet Fred Bernard is a whopping 2 months old and I know it sounds so extremely cliche but I seriously have NO idea how we are already here. I feel like these last 2 months have been more of a blur than any other time in my life, and at the same time I feel like I have been able to relish this baby more than any of the others, because any moment at all that I am able to sit and stare at him I TAKE and I love it.

He is so smiley, but was not in a smiley mood for these pictures so I got nary a very smiley picture from the bunch, but he was sufficiently not-angry enough to still get some nice, peaceful face shots with an extra-close up of the collateral damage of a swaddle-bust-out last night (i.e. he scratched himself on the cheek).

I would posit that he is the most-loved little guy in the world, he has at least one person asking to hold him at least 75% of each day.
I think he is the child who looks most like me: blue eyes, double chin, receding hair line, etc. All me.

He had quite the colicky spell for the first month or so of his life, and while it has definitely gotten much better, he is still super gassy, but all my babies are for the first 3 months and I am trying to not want this last month to go fast because is some weird way I am sure I will miss his stinky baby farts when they're gone.

He still won't let me have more than a 2 hour stretch before he is sca-reeeeeming from his crib at night (thanks stinky baby farts), BUT!! He is in his own crib for those hours before he sneaks back in ours which means-- 2 sweet hours of stomach sleeping solo. I will take it.

Ok, I will stop there because I can only use so many of the almost-identical picture before it just gets weird.

Freddie B, I love you.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

bears, baking and babies, oh my! (7 QT!)

How about some quick takes with Kelly (who I get to meet IRL soon!!) on a Saturday?

1) It definitely has not sunk in that we are residing in a different state yet. You would think that it would, what with being in a different home, surrounded by mountains rather than flattest of flat Indiana land. I just feel like I'm on a vacation where I seriously over-packed. However, I have definitely had several "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto" moments since settling, not the least of which is our neighborhood bear that repeatedly gets into our trash. That's right, I said bear, not the standard squirrel or raccoon, but a legit bear.

2) I feel like the most BA housewife there is because I have TWICE now scared the bear away in the middle of the night. Never mind the fact that the only thing I did to "scare" him away was turn on our porch light. Never mind that.

3) I feel like I need to do a little explaining of the situation after my initial post wherein I complained a bunch about the crazy surprise wall colors in the house. You see, we bought this house without seeing it first. Cue all the horrified gasps-- I know, I know. It was crazy. But the house we were initially under contract for, the one that I actually got to see when we came here, fell through due to false information being filed by the tax company. So! at 37 weeks pregnant we needed to find a place to live and there were no reasonably priced rentals that would fit us and I was not about to send Mike a-house-hunting for fear of another early labor, AND this house was in the perfect location and had room for us so we sent our trusted realtor over to give us the skinny and it happened that he did not notice the pink and green walls. To his credit he was focusing on things like the roof, heating and cooling and actual bones of the house. Also, the family who sold it initially listed it back in 2014, which is when they posted the pictures of the place online. They took it off the market for a while, painted the heck out of it...

re-listed and never updated the photos. That should clear up the confusion. And the best part.... drum roll....

4) Mike fixed it!!

All done with house talk, on to much more important  stuff... TV.

5) I've become slightly addicted to The Great British Baking Show. It has fiercely awoken in me a strong desire to bake ALL THE THINGS!!!! I am currently working on this savory loaf, and would love to try my hand at a tart like this one, but first I must acquire a tart pan.

6) Shortly after settling in here I cracked a large piece of my tooth off whilst eating a pita chip and now I am in the market for a crown and potentially a root canal. I am legitimately terrified of both, almost as much as starting homeschooling back up-- speak words of comfort to me oh blog readers. I will never eat pita chips again.

7) I attempted to take some professional-looking pictures in our back yard the other day so that our frames could actually be updated, the results were less than impressive, but not a total fail.

And one ipad picture of a semi-smiley Fred:

Photographer of the year and certified bear- scare-er, that's me.
The end.