Monday, February 23, 2015

Merino Kids Sleep Sack, A Review

Declan was asked to review the Merino Kids sleep sack, and since he doesn't have too many obligations at the moments, he happily agreed.  We chose the sleep sack in the Banbury design, and it fit like a charm:

I agreed to what?

What's that, Declan?  You have a question?

But what's it made of?

Glad you asked!  The Merino Kids Sleep Sack is made from soft, superfine Merino Wool covered by organic cotton.

Raise the roof for luxurious comfort!!

I know, I couldn't believe how soft and comfy it felt either!  

But what happens when you want to transport me straight to the carseat from the crib?

Another good question from my genious 10 month old.  On those busy mornings when we're running out the door into the freezing cold winter, we can just leave you in it and the sack is specially designed that we can buckle you up without removing it.

Soft AND safe?  These people thought of everything!
 I know, right?!?  And they come in lots of colors and sizes, see for yourself on their website.  (Side note, if we ever have another baby, their swaddle that can go from carseat to crib looks amazing!)

And the best part of the deal?  He fell right asleep!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What I Did Over February Vacation, A Week in Review

Wanna hear a lemons-to-lemonade story?  

Every year, we get a week off from school (which means work for us too) in the middle of February.  I think maybe this is a New England thing, but I'm  not sure.  Anyway, we had planned on taking the kids to Hilton Head, South Carolina for the week because my parents were renting a place there.  But the closer it got to the break, the more huge snow storms we had, the more illnesses we kept catching, we decided not to go.  A 20 hour drive each way wouldn't be worth it if someone was sick, or if the weather was bad.  As luck would have it, we did get another big snow storm the day we were supposed to leave, and Declan and I had nasty colds.  

To make up for the disappointment of no vacation, we told the kids we would do something fun everyday.  So here's what we did...


Valentine's Day breakfast out at one of our favorite local restaurants, and then I took the kids to see the Sponge Bob movie.  I can't stand cartoons, except Peg + Cat, but the kids seemed to think it was funny.   


We woke up to more snow!  Since we were home bound, Sunday's fun activity was a camp out sleepover in the family room.


Phil took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese because he is a glutton for punishment.  :)

That night, we went to a local restaurant and played trivia with some coworkers and won!  Phil named our team "50 Grades of A" because it was a group of teachers.  So punny, that man o' mine.


JP got his bottom braces (oh the pain!) , and we went to Coldstone Creamery for Fat Tuesday.  Yum!


I had to work and Phil had a camp meeting with the administrators at the kids' school, so all of their respective kids got to play together.  15 kids in all!  Then they came home and went sledding.  Declan worked on his Couch to Walking program :)


Two of the kid's friends came over, and they went out for frozen yogurt (we do a lot of eating when we plan fun things!)


Family bowling with a groupon!  And cousins!

I lost the first round, but something happened in the second round, and my inner bowler came out.  I got a turkey (I'm "C" in the photo below)! Phil would like me to clarify that I got those strikes with bumpers in the gutters.  I would like to clarify that some people are sore losers ;)


This was the biggest day of fun for the big boys in the family.  One of our friends won tickets to the Monster Truck Jam, which included seats in the judges' booth and VIP passes to meet the drivers.  She couldn't use them, and graciously offered them to us, so Phil took J-P, Andrew and Eamon to celebrate J-P's 12th birthday in Monster Truck Style.  Phil even got to be one of the six judges, which he said was pretty intense!

While they were doing guy stuff, I took Magie, Xander, and Declan to a Children's Museum on Cape Cod, because playas gotta play, and making a mess of an indoor children's museum sounded a lot more appealing then letting them destroy my house.  We went with a friend and her three kids too, and the kids had lots of fun and all fell asleep on the way home.  Winning!

Today we have a basketball game for J-P and Andrew, and lots of eating sweets and junk food to do, I think that counts as fun on this Lenten Sunday.  And that's another February vacation for the (digital scrap) books.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Making Sense Out of Lent

I have been discerning for the past month what I should do to make this Lent fruitful.  And I think I've finally got it down.  You see, I stink at making sacrifices and can usually weasel my way out of Lenten fasts most years.  "Oh I'm pregnant, no fasting required!" "I'm breastfeeding, so the baby needs chocolate!"  "I have six kids, that's sacrifice enough!"  Basically, I'm a slave to comfort.  If Lent were a vacation, it should be a camping trip in a tent with no running water or electricity.  But my Lent usually looks more like a trip to Disney World where I skip dessert one night, because, after all it's Lent.

So, I need a good Lent, and good = hard.  I need to deny myself to the point of discomfort so that I can align myself to Our Lord's ultimate sacrifice.  I need to crave something, then choose not to have it, to remind myself of all Christ gave up for us.  This year, I'm going to model my Lent around my body's five senses, so that Lent will make SENSE for me and my love of bodily comforts.


This is my biggest challenge for Lent.  No Screen Time when I have Face Time.  If I am around people, I will be off of electronics.  Unless it's an emergency (like needing directions when I'm lost), I'll check my phone and email only when I'm by myself.  I will look into people's eyes and realize that nobody is less important than the internet.


Ugh, my weakness is pop music.  While I think it does have its time and place (like while working out) I will stop listening to it in the car.  I will listen to Christian music instead.  This is going to be really hard because I don't generally like Christian music. (Please don't revoke my Catholic Card).


It's hard to choose a Lenten sacrifice based on smell, but this one will make my husband happy.  I will empty the cat's litter box.  We've had a cat for two years, and I've never once changed her litter box.  Pregnancy gave me a good excuse, then laziness took over.  


I started Weight Watchers two weeks ago, and I've cheated every single day.  So, for Lent, I will actually count points and do the plan the right way.  For me, that means eating my 26 points each day and then using all my exercise points + extra weekly points between Saturday night and Sunday night.  Eating 26 points a day basically means no sweets, no fried foods, no fun.


This is an easy one...I will hug my husband and kids every day.  I do this anyway and it's not a sacrifice, but more of a reminder to love unconditionally.  I want to intentionally give thanks to God for them while I'm hugging them and tell them I love them.

I'm not writing all this out to boast of my intentions, I just really need the accountability and would love to know what you all are planning for Lent this year.  I think if I can do all these relatively simple things for 40 days, I'm hoping they will add up to some good life improvements and a beautiful Easter that will delight the senses.