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Showing posts from 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - December 31, 2010

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Collin's brother, his wife, and their son are in town, and we're having lunch today at an Ethiopian restaurant. I've never met their son, nor have I ever had Ethiopian, and I'm looking forward to both experiences.

2. We're also utilizing one of our Christmas gifts today -- Collin & I are meeting with a lawyer to draw up our wills, courtesy of my father-in-law. A very practical gift, and something we've been meaning to do for a while now.

3. This nasty cold is still hanging on, although I do feel better than I did. The other two kids are pretty well recovered but Violet's still coughing, poor thing. I hope we can rest up this weekend and kick this bug.

4. One of my favorite Christmas gifts that we received this year was a family bible, courtesy of my mother-in-law. It's the first hardcover Bible we've ever owned; what a treasure! I absolutely love it. The illustrations are stunning.

5. The kids had a great Christma…

My favorite pictures from Disneyland

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and



(incidentally, I discovered that churros make wonderful teething biscuits!)

We had a great time once the rain stopped. We were supposed to be there from December 18-22, but it rained non-stop every single one of those days. We went to Disneyland on December 19 and were pretty miserable because it was so wet and cold. We ended up deciding to stay two extra days, waited out the rain, and did our two days of Disneyland on the 23rd and 24th. We were too tired to drive home on Christmas Eve night so we didn’t get home ‘til mid-afternoon of December 25th (and my brother-in-law ended up hosting Christmas instead). So it was a longer trip than we had anticipated. But, we did have fun once the sun finally came out!

Unfortunately, the day after we came back I caught a horrible cold (maybe bronchitis, I'm not sure), and I'm still struggling with it. I took the day off of work yesterday, but I can't really afford to do that more than once (I'm out of flex time, so it's a…

7 Quick Takes Friday, December 17 - Best Christmas Songs Edition

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

As promised last week, here are seven (or more...) of my absolute favorite Christmas song renditions. This is by no means a comprehensive list; there are more Christmas songs that I love than I dislike, but these are definitely among my absolute favorites. I've linked to the CD itself where applicable.

1. Cantique de Noel, A Fresh Aire Christmas, Mannheim Steamroller. This is a version of "O Holy Night" that is absolutely breathtaking. I first heard it while walking across Prexy's Pasture at the University of Wyoming campus on my way to class, listening to the FM radio on my CD player. I stopped dead in my tracks and just listened. As soon as I could, I found the CD for this song and bought it. Mannheim Steamroller is a favorite group of mine, and this rendition is the best instrumental version of "O Holy Night" out there, in my opinion. (Honorable mention from the same CD: Veni Veni, a Latin rendering of "O Come O Come Emma…

7 Quick Takes Friday, Dec. 10 - Worst Christmas Songs Edition

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

I love Christmas music. In fact, I adore it. I'd say about half of my iTunes library is comprised of all the Christmas music I've collected over the years. However, there are some songs (or rather, some versions of songs) that I absolutely despise. Here, in no particular order, are seven songs that I don't care if I never listen to again. I've even provided a link to the song, where possible, so you can share in the loathing.

1. Last Christmas by George Michael. I hate this song. Hate it with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I once had a co-worker who was obsessed with it and played it (out loud, in our shared office) over and over and over and over. Now, of course, the stupid song comes on the radio every time I listen.

2. So This Is Christmas/ Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon. I don't think this is a bad song, per se -- I like its message -- but it is so overplayed. Like #1, it's on the radio constantly. I also f…

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: At Mass last night, William pointed to Mary (we have a statue of Our Lady of the Eucharist in the sanctuary) and said, “Look, Mommy, that’s you!”The Bad: The kids would not sit still. By the end of the evening I was utterly exhausted, and I barely heard a word of Father Hans’ homily because I was too busy trying to get my obnoxious children to sit quietly so they weren’t disturbing others. I’m so glad I have Collin’s help kid-wrangling during Sunday Mass. (He had taken them to the 7am Mass, as it was the only time that accommodated his work schedule.)The Ugly: William had a bottle of flavored water left over from supper (which we had in the church hall with the RE group before Mass), and right before the distribution of the Eucharist, he spilled it all over the floor. (I think Elanor was trying to take it from him at the time.) I could have died from embarrassment, and unfortunately I swore (under my breath, thank goodness, but still). A kind lady a few pews over ran to the …

My birth stories

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I've posted all six of my birth stories to my blog, and I'm consolidating all the links into one post for easier reference.

All six kids were born in a hospital, and all were natural births (vaginal and unmedicated). The last four (Violet, Gabriel, Peter, and Laura) were doula-assisted. Elanor, Violet, and Gabriel were caught by obstetricians, William and Laura were caught by CNMs (certified nurse-midwives), and Peter was caught by a nurse because the CNM didn't make it in time.

The birth of Elanor Mary

The birth of William Joseph

The birth of Violet Elizabeth

The birth of Gabriel Keith

The birth of Peter David

The birth of Laura Rose

Might I suggest Prozac?

I'm having a conversation about abortion, via Facebook messaging, with a pro-choice person who responded to some comments I made on Facebook. Her latest response amused me so much that I just had to share:

Whatever man i don't have any more time to dedicate to some crazy liberal person who wants to tell me what i should do with my body. You probably go knocking on doors telling people what they should do with their minds too. Ha communist swine! I DEFLECT THEE!!!!!!!!!!
\HAIL SATAN!
Okay, then, I guess our conversation is over.

7 Quick Takes Friday - Dec 3

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Oh my, Advent already. This year has just flown by. I'm trying something a little different with our Advent candles this year:



When Collin saw it, his only comment was, "That's not a wreath." Ouch. Thanks, honey.

I actually did try to find some pine garland to wrap around it but, despite a search of our local Michael's, I didn't find anything really useful. So I went with the poinsettias instead. They have a religious meaning, too. Right now I have them on a placemat that Elanor made at school, but I plan to buy a table runner as soon as I find one I like.

2. Speaking of table runners, I'm having a difficult time finding one that will fit our table. Collin (Mr. OCD himself) is adamant that the table runner has to hang over both edges of the table. However, our table, when the leaf is in it, is 78" long. Collin doesn't want to take the leaf out, and as the vast majority of table runners are 72" long, they'r…

7 Quick Takes Friday - November 19

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. I did indeed have a WONDERFUL time at the Bioethics Defense Fund Passion for Life Benefit. Raymond Arroyo was fabulous, and I was tickled pink to see so many priests and religious in attendance! It was also fun to see how many small babies were there; I wish I could have brought Violet with me so I wouldn't feel so left out. :P I was able to meet Leila; visit her blog to see a picture of us (with the lovely Danya as well). I think Leila and I could have talked half the night if we'd had the chance!

2. Leila and I discovered something pretty neat: our youngest children were due on the same day! Her little boy Matthew (in the picture linked above) and Violet were both due on March 2nd, although Matthew was born mid-February and Violet was born March 5. Still, what a neat coincidence!

3. On a whim, I cut about five inches off of my hair last Friday night. I love the new look! My head feels much lighter and cooler now. Long hair was really starting t…

Great news!

Archbishop Dolan is the new president of the USCCB! Praise God! I was not in favor of Bishop Kicanas' election. (No reflection on the man or his holiness, just concerns about his leadership capabilities and judgment calls.)

7 Quick Takes Friday - November 12

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. It's been quite the hectic week at the Wahlund household. Last Friday, Elanor went home sick from school after throwing up. She was fine all weekend, but on Monday she again complained of stomach pain and also spiked a fever. I took her to the doctor, who diagnosed an ear infection. An hour or so after we returned from the clinic, William began vomiting. He threw up five or six times in the span of four hours, and then thankfully stopped. He took a trip to the doctor on Tuesday, and was also diagnosed with an ear infection. On Wednesday Violet spiked a fever and also got a trip to the doctor. No ear infection this time, just a cold virus (probably the same one I've had all week and that Collin seems to be catching as well). Collin has only worked two and a half days this week, and I worked from home on Thursday. Thankfully everyone seems to be getting better.

2. Collin received a grade of 97% in his Technical Writing class, maintaining his 4.0 av…

7 Quick Takes Friday - November 5

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. We had a fun Halloween, although we got a bit of a late start trick-or-treating. We decided to take a family nap so the kids would be rested for the evening's activities, and we all slept until 5:30pm! I guess we all needed the sleep, but we had to scramble into costumes and I didn't get the chance to take all the pictures I wanted. I got a few good ones, though:











As you can see, we had Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen (in frog form) and a little firefly, all from Disney's "The Princess and the Frog."

2. I had a nice 30th birthday on Wednesday as well. I took the afternoon off of work and Collin and I went to see the movie RED. It was an enjoyable popcorn flick. I jokingly called it "Die Hard: the Retirement Years."

3. Later that evening, the kids (with Daddy's help) bought me flowers:



and also a lovely card. I'm truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.

4. Earlier last week my Medela breastpump finally gave out…

Happy birthday to me

Today, I turn 30 years old. ...does this mean I have to grow up now?

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. These will be really quick because it's late and I need to get to bed, but tonight I've cooked supper, made Halloween cookies (from scratch!), frosted said cookies (alas, with store-bought frosting), changed diapers, cleaned out the cat's litterbox, found a costume to wear to work tomorrow (my Renaissance Festival garb), got Elanor's costume ready for tomorrow, put a load of laundry in the washer and in the dryer, and emptied/loaded the dishwasher. So I figured I might as well get my Quick Takes in while I was being so productive.

2. I prayed outside the Glendale Planned Parenthood yesterday as part of 40 Days for Life. It was rather intimidating because I was the only one there, and I didn't have a sign or anything because I hadn't realized I needed to bring my own (the last time I participated, in ND, the signs were provided). In retrospect I should have tried to find someone to come with me, but I didn't think about it unti…

Catholic Phoenix blog

You can read my latest post at the Catholic Phoenix blog here: The State of Limbo in Catholic Doctrine.

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. I might as well rename my blog to "7 Quick Takes every Friday." That's all I have time to post anymore. However, I have been managing to write fairly regular blog posts for the Catholic Phoenix blog (turns out I'm more motivated to write if I know it'll actually be read), so that's progress, at least.

2. As my birthday is 11/3, Collin's is 12/24, Elanor's is 1/13, William's is 2/25, and Violet's is 3/5, we're going to do a big group present -- we're going to Disneyland in lieu of buying presents this year. Less clutter for the house is always good! We're leaving 12/18 and will get back 12/22, just in time to host Christmas at our house on 12/25. The plan is to get it cleaned and ready before we go, and then take the kids away so they have less time and opportunity to mess it up. We were thrilled to see that kids 2 and under are free, so we only had to buy passes for ourselves and Elanor (we also got t…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

I'm very late with the Quick Takes today, but better late than never!

1. It's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, so I'd like to take these first few quick takes to remember the babies I've lost to miscarriage.

2. Noel was conceived in October 2006 and died sometime November 2006 (we didn't discover that s/he had passed in utero until December 2006). I had a D&C and we arranged to have his/her remains interred. S/he is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fargo, ND. After the ultrasound the diagnosed his/her death, my midwife gave me the ultrasound picture and I'm so glad she did. It helps to have that little bit of my baby as a memorial now that I'm too far away to visit his/her grave.

3. Chris (short for Christopher or Christina) was conceived in late February 2009. S/he died March 13, 2009. I miscarried naturally while in the ER so we weren't able to have a burial for him/her. All I have left of him/her is the pict…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Oh my goodness, what a day. My co-worker was on vacation so I had to supervise her projects, and today was a doozy. I've had nothing to eat but a doughnut all day, because I was too busy to take my lunch break. Collin's out picking up some Chinese takeout at the moment because I'm just too tired to cook.

2. I have to admit that I squeed like the Catholic fangirl I am when Greg Willits from The Catholics Next Door commented on my latest post over at the Catholic Phoenix blog.

3. Collin flies to North Dakota on Tuesday, and I'm apprehensive about the week of single parenting ahead of me. I'm just thankful that his vacation and my co-worker's vacation didn't coincide, otherwise I'd be an absolute basket case.

4. Baby Violet is 7 months old now! I suspect she has some teeth coming in, because she's been crankier than normal the last week or so and she's practically drowning in her own drool.

5. I'm starting to thi…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Thanks to my Latin teacher, I've discovered a great new website: Catholic Phoenix. Many different writers contribute so there's always a fascinating new article to read, and you don't need to be a Catholic in Phoenix to appreciate them!

2. I've started watching season one of "Hoarders" via Netflix. It's fascinating yet horrific. The good thing is that it makes me want to clean my own house (which is not so good if I watch an episode before bed). Some of these people are so obviously mentally ill that it just hurts to watch, but there are some who honestly do appreciate the help.

3. We bought Elanor's Princess Tiana's Halloween costume last night, and she is so excited. The hard thing for her is going to be waiting for Halloween! We bought Violet's outfit too; now we just need to get William's and we'll be set.

4. Collin's had a great week. He got a 98% in his first University of Phoenix class (starting ou…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. My lunch today is warm mini pita bread rounds (from Trader Joe's) and roasted garlic hummus (also from Trader Joe's). Mmmmmmmm.

2. Collin and I are big garlic fans. Once, when we were in Winnipeg, Manitoba, we ate at a restaurant called Gilroy's. It's named after Gilroy, CA where something like 90% of the country's garlic is produced. I don't know if the restaurant still exists (it was November 2004 when we ate there), but it was incredible. Everything on the menu, from wine to dessert, incorporated garlic somehow. Our appetizer was whole roasted garlic cloves in olive oil. We spread it on French bread and it was marvelous.

I had a craving for that appetizer last week, probably because I had a bad cold (and garlic can help relieve cold symptoms), so I decided to try and replicate it. I've always been hesitant about roasting garlic; it seemed to me that it was a complicated process. However, I found it to be quite simple and easy. …

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. September is halfway through already. How did that happen?

2. I'm proud that I already have the kids' Halloween costumes planned. Elanor wants to be Princess Tiana (from "The Princess and the Frog"), so we decided to continue the theme and have William be a frog. Violet will be a firefly. They're going to be so adorable!

3. Violet has officially started solids! So far she's had oatmeal, pears, and bananas (she loved all three). I think we'll try some sweet potatoes this weekend. I captured her first taste of oatmeal on video; you can see it at YouTube. She's pretty much able to sit up by herself, too -- and she's trying so hard to crawl. Where did my tiny baby go?

4. Speaking of babies, my good friend Abbi and her husband Mike are expecting their first child to be born in late February! Abbi was the maid of honor at my wedding. I'm so excited for them -- becoming a parent is such an awesome experience.

5. I'm tak…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Pursuant to my last Quick Takes post (in July! eep!) we did indeed get a new car -- a silver 2011 Nissan Versa! We got a bare-bones model with manual transmission and no stereo. Luckily, we had a relatively new car stereo (bought a few years ago for one of our older cars) just sitting in our garage, so we've had that installed and it looks great. It even has an auxiliary port so I can plug in my iPhone! Our new car gets 34 miles to the gallon, which is already saving us a bundle in gas expenses.

2. Elanor is doing well in kindergarten. She had a bit of a rocky start adjusting to the new schedule, and for some reason she balked at walking home from school with our daycare lady's son. This of course caused MK (daycare lady) to tell us the situation wouldn't work out, with her watching Elanor for free every day. *sigh* So, we've signed her up for before- and after-school care. It's expensive, but not as expensive as daycare. She starts next…

Nine years ago today...

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September 1, 2001

What an amazing nine years it's been.

We moved three times (twice to a different state). We had five pregnancies, three incredible kids, and two babies we lost before birth. We jointly discovered the Catholic Church and converted, a move that wildly changed our lives for the better. We bought our first house and a new car. One of us finished college, and one of us just went back to school yesterday (he's doing an online program via the University of Phoenix). We visited Las Vegas twice and Disneyland once. We made it through some really rough times, and have had some really good times.

Here's to the next nine years.



I love you, honey.

starting my weight loss journey

I went to the OB/GYN on Friday (August 6) for an annual exam, and tipped the scales at 200 lbs. (I'm 5'6".) This is actually the first time I've had extra baby weight -- with my first two, I lost weight due to morning sickness in the first trimester and then gained very little weight during the pregnancy, so I ended pregnancy lighter than I started it. With Violet, I still lost weight but gained most of what I lost for a change, so I ended the pregnancy about the same as when I started it. And now I've gained more. Nursing doesn't seem to burn off a ton of calories for me, and my eating habits, I know, are terrible.

Anyway, I talked to my OB/GYN about it, and he gave me a kind of "come to Jesus" lecture about how if I wanted to lose weight, I couldn't wish it off; I had to be serious about making some lifestyle changes in my eating habits and exercising more.

I decided he was right. So I've contacted a nutritionist he recommended, and I subscri…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Our $8K tax credit finally arrived! Woohoo! We were so happy the day it came then we went out to Red Lobster and had appetizers, entrees, dessert and wine.

2. The first thing we bought was a new dining room table to replace the rickety card table we've been using since we moved to AZ. It'll be delivered on August 2 and we can't WAIT. We realized, during the purchasing process, that it's the first piece of brand-new furniture we've ever purchased together -- all our other furniture has been secondhand or bought for us by a family member.

3. We're still looking at LCD TVs as well, but we haven't made a decision yet. There are a lot of choices!! I think we'll go with a 42", or maybe a 46" if we can find a good deal.

4. We may end up buying a new car (!) as our Ford Escort is slowly but surely dying. It has no air conditioning (estimate to fix is $500, which is about the car's value), the fuel tank has a leak and the…

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Violet had her 4-month check-up today. The doctor was a little concerned because she is slightly underweight. I don't have her exact stats yet (Collin took her, and I think he still has them) but I'm rather surprised -- she seems to be eating well, she has plenty of wet and poopy diapers, etc. She's just not gaining a lot of weight for some reason. I'm not sure what to do. The doctor (who I trust) advised supplementing with formula or rice cereal. I'm hesitant to do either. I'd rather do formula given that I'm wary about starting solids so early, but I worry that supplementing at all might detrimentally affect our breastfeeding relationship, and it's hard enough as it is pumping 3x per day. I'll have to do some more research before I make a decision.

2. Collin called the IRS today, and OUR AMENDED TAX RETURN HAS BEEN APPROVED!! We filed it back in April. A check for our $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit will be maile…

Super Baby!

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Violet is four months old today!

7 Quick Takes Friday

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Thanks to Jen for hosting.

Wow, it's been a while since I've done one of these! Life is so busy that it's difficult to find the time to sit at the computer and do a blog post, and trying to post via iPhone is sometimes more trouble than it's worth. But I'm going to try and do better!

1. I'm very pleased that my blog (specifically, my conversion story entry) has been added to The Convert Journal. There are a lot of great conversion stories there -- check it out!

2. Violet will be four months old (!!) on July 5. The time has just FLOWN by! She is such a wonderful baby -- she smiles all the time and has started giggling and cooing adorably. She sleeps pretty well, although lately she's gotten cranky at night. I think she may be teething as well as she's a non-stop drool machine and wants to chew on everything. She's also trying to sit up on her own. Where'd my tiny newborn go??



3. Elanor is also growing by leaps and bounds. She is such a big help to me…

Authentic Feminism

I was so impressed by this post that I had to share.

From Dr. Gerard Nadal's "Coming Home" blog is the entry Authentic Feminism. Michelle posted the following follow-up comment to her words as quoted in the entry:

There’s a story behind my post.

I was at a pro-life demonstration a few weeks ago. It was an evening candle-lit walk through our city in rememberance of an unspeakable number of unborn children lost to abortion. It was a beautiful evening when young and old gathered together to say: this grieves us- we are impoverished by the loss of these children and the pain that has come to their mothers, their families and our state, and we want to help make it stop.

I fully intended to participate in the walk portion of the evening, until I was side-tracked. While hundreds of walkers assembled peacefully in the courtyard of a large church, fourteen (exactly, I counted) angry, disrespectful persons assembled outside the church property and with a few obscene signs, a handful …

Back to work

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I've been back at work for over a week now, and it's going well. 

The kids are going to a new in-home daycare that's only a block from our home, so Collin drops them off every morning. Since I'm able to go directly to and from work without having to detour and drop off kids at daycare, it's shaved 30 minutes (one-way) off of my commute and made it much less stressful.

I have to admit, being at work is somewhat relaxing. The nature of my job allows me to listen to my iPod most of the day, so it's a nice change of pace after riding herd for three kids under six. Still, I miss them.

Violet seems to be doing well with the transition, thank goodness. She's adapted well to bottle-feeding and so far I've been able to pump more than enough for her. Hopefully I can keep it up. I'm able to use an empty office near my desk to pump during my breaks -- very convenient. 

The biggest obstacle so far is finding time to keep up with the housework. Violet wants to nurse …

Pictures from Violet's baptism

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