Friday, March 28, 2014

Modest Maternity clothes: Mission Impossible?

In an effort to minimize the impact on our finances, I've started shopping for maternity clothes now, so I won't have to go on a massive shopping spree all at once. Of, course, I'm only like 6 weeks, but I'm already developing a little baby bump (why???), and I DO have clothes from my other two pregnancies, but those were before I really had learned about the importance of modesty, especially while pregnant (when the Hand of God is actively working within to form the baby). Anyway, I've been converting some of my maternity pants into skirts (I've made 3 so far), but am seriously lacking in the tops category.

So, I've been looking online at different maternity websites. Most of what I've found is pants, really low-cut tops, and either sweaters or tank tops, or barely-there short sleeve tops. *sigh* Then, I found this website called Lilo Maternity that actually calls itself modest maternity! Yay! They have long skirts, 3/4 length sleeves, and even a 3/4 length shell to go under less modest t-shirts you might already have! Now, if only there were more options for solid color 3/4 length sleeve t-shirts. Why must they all have a pattern?  In the meantime, I'll at least have something appropriate to wear to Mass and court in June. :-)

Please let me know if you find a website or know of a store where you can buy (for under $30? - why are maternity clothes SO expensive?!) 3/4 length sleeve solid color maternity shirts!


Monday, March 24, 2014

More Exciting News!

We haven't heard our beloved Fr. Magiera's voice since he left Indiana for Arkansas last July, and with all the excitement here recently, we decided to call him tonight. It was SO WONDERFUL to hear his voice! My mom, Emma and I all talked to him on speakerphone, and after my mom talked for awhile, it was Emma's turn. Then, I mentioned to him that Emma had given up sucking her thumb for Lent, and it wasn't going well at all. Without missing a beat, he told her that when she sucks her thumb, it makes Our Lady disappointed, because she loves us all so much, and when Emma wants to suck her thumb, she should pray a Hail Mary instead, and ask Mary to help her. So beautiful! When he finished, Emma was in tears, and I explained how devoted Emma is to Our Lady, and how she often goes to her statue and prays while I recieve communion. He couldn't have said anything more perfectly suited to her, and we haven't seen him or talked to him since July! Emma got Fr. Magiera'd over the phone from Arkansas! ROFL!

On an equally awesome side note, he's coming back to Indy in May for a wedding, and promised to call while he's in town so we can see him, and it's even on a weekend we'll have Chocolate Chip! She'll be ecstatic when she finds out! I've already put it in my calendar! Can't wait to hug him! :-D

God Bless Fr. Magiera and all our priests! Keep them safe, and help them to grow in holiness, so they can lead their flocks to Heaven! Amen.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Light in the Darkness

In the dark, depressing, often stressful world that is my life these days, we now have a very bright light shining. A long awaited, much prayed for baby is on the way!!! The girls are both ecstatic to be big sisters, especially Emma, who I'm pretty sure prayed for this to happen even more than I did. It was so cute, the first time both girls were talking about the baby, Chocolate Chip was telling Emma, that she's Emma's big sister, and Emma will be the baby's big sister, and then I pointed out that Chocolate Chip will be big sister to both of them. Emma got SUPER posessive of her microscopic baby, and said "No, I'M the baby's big sister, not YOU!!!" Oh, my.

So, crazy story: I've posted before about how I'm a "crunchy" mommy, into homeschooling, essential oils, etc. Well, after 9-10 months of actively trying unsuccessfully to concieve, I asked one of my two oil suppliers if she had anything to help me concieve. She suggested I get Progessence Plus from Young Living (online for $50, but I get it from her at cost for $37.50). No joke. Just over 2 weeks of putting 2-4 drops on my arms and neck twice a day, and I'm PREGNANT!!!!!

I just stared at the positive pregnancy test in shock, disbelief, and excitement. My husband and mom have already plastered the news on Facebook (of course it HAD to be THIS Lent, that I give up Facebook! LOL), so I figured, I might as well share the news here too. Despite being more tired, peeing constantly, and the heavier, more tender boobs, it still feels surreal. It probably won't feel really real until the first ultrasound, which is on my dad's birthday (pretty neat - maybe a gift from him, in Heaven?). Anyway, we're all just so excited!

Angel in the Waters

We got Emma a new book today at our new favorite Catholic bookstore called Angel in the Waters. It's about baby's development from conception to about 6 months after birth (going by the pictures) from baby's perspective. The pictures and the wording are just breathtaking! I may be hormonal, but I fight tears every time I read it to Emma. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has kids.

All Praise and Glory to Him!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


My parish has this wonderful, new, weekly mom's group that starts with free babysitting and an hour of adoration, followed by coffee, snacks, and hanging out with the other moms. I went two weeks ago for my first real time at adoration (for more than 5 minutes of clock-watching, kid-whining, trying desperately to concentrate and pray), and couldn't go last week, but I did get to go this morning. It. Was. Glorious!!!
The first time I went was wonderful enough, and we were pretty much the only ones that came that week, so it was "just" the free babysitting and adoration. Today was our first time with the full experience. I didn't want to leave! It was literally Heaven on earth!
First, was adoration. Me, my mom, and about 6 of my friends went and just spent an hour with Jesus. I sat, and just talked to Jesus, prayed a rosary, sat quietly to see if He wanted to tell me anything, and read some of a book. The book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, talks a lot about how Jesus just wants us to love Him, and keeping Him company, so I love reading it at adoration.

The rosary (follow that link for an informative article about the rosary), for my non-Catholic friends and followers, is all about meditating on the life of Jesus, every aspect, of which comes straight from Sacred Scripture. I usually have trouble concentrating as I try to picture the scene, and keeping my mind from wandering. In the Presence of Jesus, though, at adoration, I find it so much easier to visualize the angel asking Mary to be the Mother of God at the Annunciation, Mary visiting Elizabeth at the Visitation, the Birth of Jesus at the Nativity, Mary and Joseph taking the Infant Jesus to the Temple at the Presentation, and 12 yr old Jesus being found in the Temple.

Anyway, after adoration, we all went downstairs and just hung out. Father even joined us for quite awhile, and talked to us about how he went on a quest about 16 years ago to find the best chocolate in the Indianapolis area, and his findings. He's so funny! We also talked about Frozen, Tangled (can you tell we're moms? Chocolate and Disney movies! LOL), demonic possession, and realistic exorcism movies like the Exorcism of Emily Rose (great movie!), The Rite (haven't seen it), and the Exorcism (except for the spinning head and pea soup part, and the fact that it was a boy, not a girl).

All together, it was a wonderful, beautiful, uplifting, peaceful experience that I have every intention of repeating every week. If you're local, and want to share in this wonderful opportunity, we meet at Holy Rosary parish in Indianapolis from 9:30-whenever people leave (today it was about 1) on Thursday mornings.

God Bless!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Juice and Canvas Party

When it comes to creativity and imagination, Chocolate Chip is generally very, very lacking. Love her, but the girl is meant to be an accountant, physicist, or something that requires very little to no imagination. Needless to say, coming up with birthday party ideas for her is generally extremely painful. Last year, she ended up just having a "hang out" party, where it was basically just a playdate with cake. This year, my wonderful husband had a fantastic idea. I've become quite the fan of wine and canvas parties, and have a couple times, left him to babysit while I've gone to paint a tree full of owls, or most recently, the Blessed Mother. He came up with the idea for Chocolate Chip's birthday party last weekend to have a painting party. I added the Juice to his Canvas, and we came up with the Juice and Canvas. It was so fun!!! One of my friends is an artist, and likes to teach painting, so I asked her to lead the party.

What a deal that was! For $8 per kid, she brought the canvasses, paint, brushes, easles, set up everything, taught the kids to paint turtles (except for Emma, my rebel - she refuses to do whatever everyone else is doing, so she painted her own thing), and cleaned everything up before she left!! I would TOTALLY do it again. Plus, I didn't have to buy stuff for those crappy little goody bags that no parents like because all the kids had their painting to take home! It was awesome!

The kids with their paintings.
Didn't they come out AWESOME?!? Ages from left to right: 5, 6, 11, 10, 11. That's Chocolate Chip in the middle, my little shorty. ;-) The 6 yr old and the 10 yr old are brother and sister. They lived 3 houses down from us at our old house. The tall girl on the end is in Chocolate Chip's class at school. They all painted turtles (Chocolate Chip's choice) except for Emma, who painted a picture of her and her daddy inside a heart with grass, a flower, and blue sky.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Court Yesterday

Well, I found out some good news from my lawyer yesterday before court. Apparently the guy who did our evaluation was new, inexperienced, and is already leaving. He also is largely unknown to lawyers and judges, so maybe his report will be taken with a grain of salt.

Speaking of his report, one word: "ugh!" My lawyer gave me a copy of it for me to add my footnotes of explanation on whatever I wanted further clarification on. In this 6 page report, there were 22, yes 22 mistakes or things he said that I said, that not only did I not say, but most of them were answers to questions I was never even asked!!! There were some things that were so easily proven to be wrong, that I'm hoping it'll cast enough doubt on the not as easily proven ones, that the whole thing will just be tossed in the trash.

One of the more heart-wrenching parts of the report was in Chocolate Chip's section. It said that she said she doesn't want to come live with us, that she wants to stay with her dad. For 6 solid years (since we lost custody), she has been asking, and at times, begging me to let her come back and live with us (as if it was up to me). Even as recently as two weeks ago, she was talking positively about when she gets to live with us again. So, obviously, I figured she had been coached and/or bribed into telling the evaluator that she wants to stay with her dad.

I didn't want to ask her about it on the phone, so when I picked her up this afternoon, it was just the two of us in the car, and I asked her about it. I told her it didn't matter what I wanted, or what her dad wanted, I wanted to know what SHE wanted. She said she wanted to stay with her dad. *Insert knife in my heart and twist* I asked her what had changed her mind, and I never really got an answer.

I obviously can't say for sure, but I think something has happened. Somebody has said something to her, or something. Not only has she suddenly gone from wanting to live with us to the complete opposite, but she has recently started treating me like less and less of a parent, and more like a peer that she doesn't have to listen to. I just don't know what to do now.

On the one hand, I want to respect her wishes.

On the other hand, I think what she NEEDS is to be in an environment where she can learn respect, modesty, reverence, gratitude,  obedience, and be allowed to flourish in all aspects. Nevermind the fact that she and her sister need to be sisters, she needs to spend time with her dying grandmother, and we need to be able to repair our bond.  We are also so far along the process at this point, it would be very difficult to stop now. My husband says we go ahead, and keep trying to get her back. Of course, I still want her back, but I've definitely lost a significant amount of passion, fire, and "fight". I just don't know how much more I can take of all this.

Anyway, our final hearing will be June 6, and we have to go to mediation between now and then. Probably late April, or early May.

Please keep us all in prayer.


Monday, March 3, 2014

God, Give Me Strength!!

I found out today that our big evaluation that we did recently didn't go nearly as well as we thought. Apparently, the evaluator got the impression that Chocolate Chip is quite comfortable and well-adjusted in her current arrangement, and the evaluator does not support a change in custody. My heart dropped to my stomach when I read that.

There are other factors, of course - the fact that she has a sister now (Emma), that she didn't have when we lost custody 6 years ago; plus all the different things that her father has done to hinder my relationship with her. Still, my lawyer says these evaluations weigh heavily on the court's decision. I know that God works all things for the good, and that He only gives us what we can handle. I just wish He didn't have quite so much faith in me...I mean, can't I get a break?! Please???!!!

Please, God, give me the strength to endure the coming storm, and if at all possible, let this pass from me, and let my baby come home. Yet, not as I will, but as You Will.



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Crafty Sunday

Well, as of yesterday afternoon, we were expecting 7"-11" of snow here in Indy. Not wanting to miss Mass, we went last night, which was probably a good choice. While we didn't get nearly that much snow, the roads were apparently bad enough that Fr. emailed this morning to say that all Masses were cancelled today due to the weather.

Anyway, with all that extra time today, I finished converting two skirts into maternity skirts for a friend of mine who is pregnant with twins, due in June, as well as start AND finish a skirt for myself!! This was, I'm pretty sure, the first time I've had time to make a new skirt for myself since mom got sick in May. Very exciting! So, to celebrate, I thought I'd post directions and pictures in case you want one too.

I had a pair of pants, that I've been saving for the right material to make into a skirt. Then, like a gift from Heaven, I got delivered to my door, the perfect material. :-) Months ago, one of my friends was giving away some men's clothes, approximately my husband's size, so I said I'd take some. She apparently gave the clothes to another friend to give to me. That friend and I hadn't seen each other in a very long time, so finally, she just dropped the clothes off at my house one day recently. Some of the clothes, my husband liked, and would wear, others...not so much. Fortunately, the shirt I had my eye on for a skirt was one of his rejects.

First, I cut the legs off the pants, just above crotch level.
Next, I cut the shirt horizontally just below the armpits all the way around.
I then took my seam-ripper, and ripped off the pocket from the shirt.
Then, I had to decide if I wanted the button down part to be in the front, or the back. I finally
        decided it would look better in the back.
Finally, I just pinned the shirt to the pants, and ran it through my sewing machine.

Here's the front

And the back.
Pretty cute, right? :-)

Stay warm, and be Blessed, friends!