Jude Landry Store

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My patron saint for 2011

Jennifer over at Conversion Diary has a cool little thingy (yes, I know nothing about internet terms or codes) that will select a saint at random to be your patron for the year or for whatever you choose. I think it's a really great idea and I'm really stoked about my new patron for 2011: St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of motherhood - very fitting, huh? I'll keep you posted on the hopeful revelations and insights coming my way in 2011 through the intercession of St. Gerard. Check it out.

And I promise to post some Christmas pics and stories when we return to Starkville, but for now, I'm just enjoying our "time off" with fam and friends! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Aloha Chloe and Art!

Chloe and Art, we hope you're having a great time at all of those luaus in Hawaii. Know that we're missing you this Christmas season and praying for your safe return. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thanks be to God!

You may remember my post here about Baby James. Well - the latest MRI results show that he has NO BRAIN DAMAGE!! Bonnie has more info on her blog right here about his recovery. Thank you so much for any prayers you might have said on his behalf, and thank you, Fulton Sheen, for your intercession.

Thank you, Jesus, our Miracle Maker and Healer.

I like her, too.

I've been working on this post in my head for a long time now.

I love my girls, that goes without saying. But I feel like I harp on Charlotte's difficulties way. too. much. Maybe I don't on the blog, but if you are a family member or friend of mine in real life, you've heard it from the horse's mouth, and I'm sorry, especially to you, Charlotte.

It's important for me to remember and share with you, the good things about her. Because, while I will always love her, I do like her, too.

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I like her eyebrows and the sound of her squeal.
I like her tipped ears and the face she makes when she's pooping.
I like when she grins at me while nursing.
I like the way she fits in the Moby, so tight beside me.

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I like how quickly she falls asleep, cradled with a blanket beside her.
I like that she actually takes a pacifier and the occasional bottle.
I like her giggle and little jumping dance.
I like her sad bottom lip when she's crying.


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I like the way she watches Joan, with amazement and awe.
I like her smell and the little mole on her tummy.
I like seeing Jude when I look into her eyes.
I like her name, first, middle, and last.
I like that her socks and shoes actually stay on.

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I like her bald spot and the red strawberries on her scalp.
I like her butt in fluffy cloth diapers.
I like how good she is at Mass.
I like that she can be held by anyone.


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I like the way she was born.
I like her dimples and fair skin.
I like that her clothing size and age always match up.
I like her little naked body, especially in the bath.
I like how she burrows into my shoulder when she's sleepy.
I like how she looks in Joan's old clothes.
I like the feeling of her forehead against my neck.


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Yep. I like her, too.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Those Landrys' Gift Exchange

Because we'll be out of town for Christmas morning, we always exchange our individual family presents the morning before we go. We dressed Joan and Charlotte in those adorable matching pjs from Tootsie and Big Poppa and had coffee and pancakes for breakfast.

Joan got her first tricycle and some books about the lives of the saints and a gift from her friend, Henry. Poor, Charlotte - she got teething and gas accessories, but we know she'll love them! Jude had a STATE Christmas this year, including koozies and an ornament - definitely not as cool or thoughtful as his gift for me... a handmade booklet about our trip to NYC, the one during which we lost our camera. It is awesome. I love designers. Especially my designer.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer






Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hodge Podge

This post doesn't really have a theme, unless adorable photos and videos is an acceptable theme. These were taken from a few different playdates with our friends in Starkville who attend the story hour at the library. We've been so blessed to meet a ton of new kids around my girls' ages with nice stay-at-home mothers like me! Thank you, Jesus - because there's not much else to do in Starkville but play and chat... We also have a special video to thank Chloe and Art for the beautiful cradle they sent Joan for Christmas and another of Joan singing her favorite Advent song. Enjoy!

And the one of Joan and the paper towel roll is of her making a snowman...

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer





Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Verbatim

"No, Momma. I can't wear that (a red firefighters hat). I'm a girl."
"But girls can be firefighters if they want to."
"No, I want to be a princess fireplace."
"Ok... so do you want to wear the hat, now?"
"No. I'm just too late."
"Too late?"
"Yeah, and too heavy for that hat."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh. That's what that's for.

I had an epiphany.

Savings accounts. When we were first married and living in an apartment and were both working, we were saving my entire pay check. But at the time, we had no idea what we were saving for - sure we made purchases along the way that we used some savings on like the down payment for our house, furniture, a new computer, and extra funds for when I stopped working to take care of Joan.

But I've been really hard on us lately about having to dip into that savings every month just to break even. I've felt like we should at least have something to show for if we're going to dip into it - but we don't. We're just using it to live and not to live more luxuriously, but more simply. We've scaled back as best we can right now and that's it. There's no more give anywhere (except maybe that $9.99 netflix account).

There's this cultural pressure (as reasonable as it is) to always be saving, paying off debt, and getting ready for the future. But it is our future, now. This is what our savings are for. Just getting by. And I'm ok with that (today, anyways), because at least we're getting by.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. 
Matthew 6:34

Thank you Lord, for your generosity, especially shown through our parents. Please provide for us today, because today is all You require.  Amen.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Sunday!

Today we're celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe's Feast Day by lighting our new candle seen in this post all day long today. Maybe we'll get around to making some tissue roses for Mary, too.

We parked at the end of the church parking lot today so that we could walk really far like Juan Diego had to to get to Mass. It was long enough to retell the story and I love that Joan could fill in the parts of his story for me.

And we also celebrate Guadete Sunday - the third Sunday in Advent. Joan was super excited that Fr. John actually worn pink vestments today and that we FINALLY get to light the pink candle. She's been waiting on that for a while now.

Rejoice in the Lord always! The Savior is truly near!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Birthday Wishes!

Here's a video for Sara on her birthday, and because we didn't think of doing this until now, we're including Mark and Tootsie for their November birthdays. 


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Breakfast of Champions

By no means would I consider my dad to be the world's greatest chef. In fact, we sometimes kid that he uses almost every dish in the kitchen to prepare meals (right, Mom?). And I guess there was that cooking phase he went through when he got a wok one year... But it's important to note that he taught me to make one of my all time favorite meals.

Jambalaya.

No, not that jambalaya.

His jambalaya only has rice, egg, and ham. Actually I thought this was jambalaya until almost college. But I would beg him to make it for me as a child and I would sit at the bar and watch him at the stove and I just couldn't wait - and I was disappointed when my bowl was empty. It's just so good.

Well, Dad, I want you to know that now, every time I'm making rice for a dinner dish, I make a little extra so that I can have jambalaya for breakfast in the morning. And this morning I actually had ham and when I took my first bite, I thought of you.

I love you and your jambalaya.



I also want to say that Charlotte slept from 10:30 pm-7:00 am without even crying out for a pacifier. A good night sleep + Jambalaya for breakfast = A great start for Saturday.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Feast Day, St. Juan Diego!

Today for St. Juan Diego, Joan colored these paper dolls found at Paper Dali,




She's so cute. I thought she kept asking me if she could bring St. Juan Diego and Our Lady in the van with us and she got frustrated and said, "No! The FAN!" She wanted me to hang Our Lady of Guadalupe from her fan like yesterday's Our Lady of Lourdes! 

Then we watched a little clip of Juan Diego - Messenger of Guadalupe on youtube, but I hope we win a copy of it from CCC through Catholic Icing for ourselves. If you blog - check it out!

I also had intentions to visit church with Joan this morning because our evening plans conflicted with Mass, but that didn't happen. I thought it would be nice to park at the very end of the parking lot and have her walk the long way to the front of church, the way Juan walked so far to get to Mass. But maybe we can still do that on Sunday's Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

St. Juan Diego, pray for us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

I've said it before, my kids are helping me get to Heaven. Most of the time I unfortunately use that phrase with exasperation because that day was especially trying for me. And even though today possessed some of those kind of moments, I should recognize that not all of the "get me to Heaven" lessons are from stress. 

I've never been more touched by the celebrations of feast days and liturgical seasons than I am now. Having kids and attempting to guide them through our beautiful faith has done wonders for my own spirituality. First, it changes my perspective - I'm no longer a high schooler in CCD or a college student at a bible study, but a wife and mother living out a vocation. 

Having kids also holds up a mirror to my face and reveals more about my habits and passion (or lack there of). I have to be deliberate about what I say and do, because she's watching. And today was no different. We celebrate Mary's Immaculate Conception and to get a 2 1/2 year old to understand that is a huge feat. Even though she may not get most of the concept, it benefitted me to harp on it all day long, keeping it foremost in my thoughts and words (we talked about it A LOT) and letting it spill over into my heart. 

Thank you God, for my children and for the quiet way they teach my simple heart.

And Mother Mary, ever pure and holy, thank you for your prayers and shining example.

Amen.

So, that kind of came out of left field. I was just going to nonchalantly post our celebrations of today for you, but I guess I needed to be reminded of a few things first. Anyway, here's what Those Landrys did. It began last night with a little youtube clip from "Bernadette, Princess of Lourdes" (a great Christmas present, maybe?) to help me explain where her title came from.



Then for breakfast, she ate scrambled egg whites on toast to symbolize Mary's purity and white milk (no chocolate milk this morning...) in a blue cup representing Mary's signature color.


Then she colored an image of Mary as The Immaculate Conception and we hung it in the "sky" just like the way St. Bernadette saw her. She said, "I want to be Bernadette, too." So I gave her her rosary and we said our Hail Marys under her mobile. 


I tried to sing "Immaculate Mary" with her a few times, but she didn't really want to. But then I caught her being so adorable - she got down on her knees (all unscripted) and was saying the prayers on her own. I switched the camera to video and hoped to catch more sweet innocence. Check out how cute she is!


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Later tonight, after Mass, we plan to have an all-white meal again. We're making chicken alfredo pizza with mozzarella. No pictures of that though, I decided to do the post now. Both girls are actually asleep - yep - at the same time!!! Have a wonderful feast day!

Oh, and I'm really excited about tomorrow's St. Juan Diego feast day because yesterday while shopping at Kroger, I found an Our Lady of Guadalupe candle. Yes, at Kroger - in Starkville! I need to find some silk flowers and I think we'll do some more reenactments. I might have a little actress on my hands...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy St. Nick's Day!

This was our first year celebrating St. Nick's Day and I've got to say, it's one of my new favorite feast days. I gave it my best shot - here's what we did...

We talked a lot about him.

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We hung stockings and waited for the morning to see what he'd put in them.





He brought St. Nicholas gold coins with chocolate inside (thanks Lisa for this link!), silver coins with their patron Sts. Joan of Arc and Clare, a Miraculous Medal and medals of St. Bernadette and St. Clare.






And because Joan's been dealing with a shoe blister since Thanksgiving, he brought her some "Band Angels."




We're hoping the band-aids will also help with teething... 





Then we went to church to thank God for our blessings and to honor old St. Nick by dropping off a coat for someone in need.





And this was just cute, so it's going up too! I think she looks like my sister-in-law, Chloe and Chloe's mother-in-law knitted this adorable sweater! Thanks June!



Now we're getting ready for The Immaculate Conception on Wednesday. I'd love to know what you're doing or if you have any ideas for my little ones!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Romans 8:28

We know that all things work for good for those who love God.


You might remember, we lost our really nice camera in New York City, along with all the pictures of every touristy thing you can do there. And yes, I was distraught at first. But I'm over that now and basking in the generous blessings of God.

We got a new camera. Well, MSU bought Professor Landry a camera, but the Landry family can use it in between work projects. Our old one pales by comparison and I don't really miss it. We're just thanking God for making something good - no, better - out of something bad, even though we don't deserve it.

Enjoy! (And just so you know, you can click and hold on the picture to move it around if you see that some of the picture got cut off. Sorry, but I'm not sure how to fix this.)

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wow. All before 8 am.


There are only two good things about having to feed Charlotte in the middle of the night,
  1. She falls back to sleep immediately.
  2. The Holy Spirit yells at me.

Tonight’s feeding gave me great peace and the grace to write about it here.

I have been feeling so much pressure lately. First financial pressure: pay off that debt, save that money, live like retired folks, and still have enough money to get through the month. None of these will happen for a long time and we even have trouble with just getting through the month and breaking even.

And then there’s that motherly pressure to successfully cook, clean, discipline, and educate, with enough time to still enjoy the 2 small ones I care for daily.

Even more now is the pressure of Advent, mainly from the blogging community, to prepare and celebrate a certain way.

In October and November, I began thinking about our Christmas traditions and how I wanted them to be different this year, with much less emphasis on Santa and commercialism and much more on the preparation and remembrance of Christ’s birth and awaited second coming. But as we began Advent, I got this nagging feeling of guilt, which was not of God, for not doing enough and I started to question that the things I enjoy, (putting up the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, and watching Christmas movies) were in some way keeping me from experiencing a holy Advent.

Maybe this pressure came internally, but much of it comes from the world. We hold standards for ourselves and for each other and sometimes those are well intentioned, but sometimes they create impossible expectations. Only we can discern what we’re asked to give and do for God.

Thankfully He is much kinder than the world. Yes, He asks us to give a lot – but only what we have, no more and no less. And our ability to even give comes from His grace – let us not forget this as we pat ourselves on the back for giving or doing ‘a lot’ by our own standards. I challenge us to take a break from patting ourselves on the back or beating ourselves up. Let’s take a look at our life this season, are we ready for Christ to come? If our hearts are in the right place, whether or not we put up that Advent wreath or Jesse tree, we’re ready.

Thank you, Lord, for Your forgiveness and the sacrament of confession, which brought me such peace. And thank you Jesus, for the two coins I have to give. May it please You and humble me. 
                                                                                                     Amen.

Luke 21:1-4
And this penance from Fr. John, Matthew 6:25-34

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breastfeeding in Public: My Pet Peeves and Solution

** Men, feel free to skip this post if you'd like...**

I like to feed my babies in public. It's probably because I don't want to miss anything or maybe I'm just too lazy to get up and leave. But the main reason is because I think it's a really beautiful, natural thing - and I shouldn't have to go hide away to do it.

At the same time, I want to make others, males especially, feel as comfortable as possible when I'm nursing while still maintaining a spirit of modesty. I've finally discovered the perfect nursing attire to accomplish that.

Here are my pet peeves about nursing in public,

* I don't like having half of my stretchy stomach skin and fat spilling over the side of my jeans for everyone to see.

* I don't like having the other half of my back showing from behind.

* I don't like pulling a shirt's neckline over a breast on one side because it stretches it out.

* I don't like using a nursing cover or blanket because my kids don't like it and fight it and I feel like it brings more attention to what I'm doing anyway.

* I don't like using a tank top under my shirt to pull down over a breast because I'm almost always using that tank top to give me a modest neckline anyway - pulling it down defeats its purpose.

* I don't like using nursing tanks because they don't have any breast support on their own and wearing a nursing bra under a nursing tank is cumbersome. Nursing tanks are also not long enough to cover my back side when sitting down. (I've got a long torso, and yes, I like to wear low rise jeans...)

* I was using a skin tight stretchy tube top that covered just under my bra down to my jeans, but it wasn't long enough to cover my back side and it was constantly "catching" the fabric of my top shirt because it was entirely made of stretchy fabric.

The Solution:
I took an old white tank that I knew was long enough to go over my jeans when sitting down and cut off the top right under the arm holes. I was left with a little white tube top.

Then I measured and cut a piece of elastic that fit snugly around my ribs, just below my bra. I folded the top of my cut tank top around that piece of elastic and sewed it shut. I was left with a long, elastic topped undershirt that fit snugly below my bra. But what happened? Throughout the course of the day, that elastic would work its way down my back and I was constantly pulling it up. So now I safety pin the elastic top to my bra strap in the back in two places and it stays put. The front elastic doesn't work its way down at all because it still fits pretty snugly.

So now, when I'm in public, I cradle Charlotte and with the opposite hand of the breast I'm using, I hold her head in place over that breast. With the other hand I reach under my top shirt to unhook my nursing bra and pull that down. With that same hand, I begin to lift my shirt over the breast, just enough so she can find the nipple and begin to feed.

None of my back shows. None of my stomach shows. And as long as nobody is peering directly above us when she's latching on, none of my breast shows. It was hard to believe that Charlotte's head and my arm were enough to cover everything that's left exposed, but Jude assures me, it is. And now when she's done, I slide my shirt back down over the breast before I move her head and hook the bra back up. Piece of cake.

I still haven't figured out how to nurse in a dress, though...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get the Herrs to Disney World!

My friends are finalists in a competition to get a free trip to Disney World. Visit this link and vote on their video CUTE SISTERS WITH POTATO PASSION as your favorite. You have to register your email address, but you can always unsubscribe later.

And here's a video that won them a mini van - aren't they so talented and adorable!



We miss you Herr babies!