Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yarn Along

I'm joining Ginny for the second time ever for a yarn along, since I only knit once in a blue moon. 

A couple friends cajoled me into joining a knit along with them, because all of us had been wanting to make some mittens.  I'm mostly just making them so I can finally say that I know how to knit mittens.  I found a pattern I really loved (it's a nordic star design), but I wasn't sure that mittens were the most practical handwear for someone who has to lug around a purse, a car seat, a diaper bag, etc. every time she goes out of the house in the cold (i.e. myself).  Tom said, though, that if I knit them for him, he'd wear them.  Tom's favorite color is brown (a terrible favorite color, am I right?), so that explains the boring color palette.  So far, they're coming along pretty well, though proving to be a lot more trouble than I was expecting.  There are so many "new" things for me all at once.

The book I'm currently reading is What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew.  Tom gave it to me for Christmas, knowing it was right up my alley.  I love reading histories of "everyday life" in different time periods.  This book, I think, has a really good premise, but the execution is disappointing.  I feel like the author needed an editor to get much stricter with him, and force him to explain some things better, organize his ideas in a much more logical way, and stop repeating himself so much!  Worth checking out of the library, but I would recommend against buying it new.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Silly Little Man

 Just a collection of some sweet and funny little quotes from my two-and-a-half (!) year old.


Sly's very into dinosaurs right now.  Until about a week ago, though, he had a lot of trouble keeping their names straight.  Some of my favorites:  tri-dinosaur-tops, tyranodinosaur, and broccolisaurus [this is supposed to be brachiosaurus, and he gets very adamant when we try to correct him].

I was talking to Sly about dinosaurs, and told him that they lived a really long time ago and all that's left now is their skeletons. He got this sad and confused look on his face, then said, "but there still T. Rexes. Lots of T. Rexes."

Looking at his pterodacytl cup "Flying dinosaurs in Sly's water.  Sly say, "HEY!  Get out!" 

I recently served some baby spinach at dinner.  Sly made it clear that he did not want to eat a single bite.  But then I told him that it was leaves like a stegosaurus would eat.  He kept calling it "dinosaur food!!" and happily ate several helpings.  The next night, we had peas and carrots with dinner.  He got a huge smile, and gasped - as if he couldn't believe his luck - "we having dinosaur food again!"  haha...I wonder how long I can keep this up.

This one isn't actually a Sly quote, but it's topical, and amusing.  Last night I came to bed, and found that Tom had fallen asleep with a book open in his hands.  It was a book of extinct animals, and he had it open to the "long-necked browsing dinosaurs" section!  haha.  Like father, like son, I guess.

Me: Do you want to learn to read?
Sly: Yeah!  Sly can sing at church.  [awww]

About a month ago, Tom read Sly The Velveteen Rabbit (yes, the whole thing!  That's a much longer story than I expected either of them to have the patience for).  Tom had never read it before, so was taken by surprise at how sad it was.  He got a little choked up while he was reading, and Sly noticed it.  Tom told Sly to "keep it between [them]".  But several times since, Sly has pulled the book triumphantly off the shelf, and waved it around saying, "Daddy cried!  Daddy cried!"

Yesterday: "Sly has a guardian angel!  (me: "yeah, that's right") Stella has a guardian angel!  (me: "that's right") The diaper bin has a guardian angel! (me: "ummm...")"

Sly thinks it's a great joke to call Stella "Stello".  He'll go to her and say, "hi, Stello!" and then crack himself up.

One morning, I was making up a little song, singing, "it's coffee time for Mommy, coffee time for Mommy, Mommy wants some coffee..." and Sly joined in, singing, "and Sly want whoopee pie!"

Overheard through the bedroom door during naptime: "This little piggy went market...this little piggy stay home...this little piggy had rist bee....this little piggy had...[really long pause].....Sly tryin' member.  Yeah."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"I Have a Fat Stomach Too"

On Monday, Tom had the day off, so I attempted once again to sneak out of the house for a short time without Stella Bella Baby.  It was a success, and I found a couple of the white shirts I've been needing!

I had an awkward/amusing exchange at the entrance to the fitting room with the lady who counts your items and hands you the tag with a number.

As I approach...
Lady: "(muffle muffle) stomach (muffle muffle)"
Me: "What was that?"
Lady: "I see your stomach sticking out a tiny bit."
*I quickly look down, thinking maybe my shirt was pulled up and I'm showing off my attractive stretch marks to all the world.  But no...I'm wearing my coat, and it's still buttoned up...*
Lady: "There's a baby in there, right?"
Me: "" [totally awkward]
Lady: [unfazed] "Oh."
*I'm just wishing she'd hand me the dang tag, and be done with it.*
Lady: "I feel like I offended you or something."
Me: [increasingly awkward] "'s fine..."
Lady: "It's ok.  I have a fat stomach too."


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The March For Life

I wrote this two years ago (I can't believe this blog is already that old!).  On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized abortion in this country, I am re-posting it today.  I added a few minor updates.


This Friday is the date of the March For Life in Washington, D.C. I've only been able to participate a few times, but I always find it a rewarding experience. I don't like going so much to "show my support" for the pro-life cause, as to be spiritually refreshed by it (a selfish motivation, perhaps). It's so easy to get depressed when everyone you meet and everything you see in the news or Hollywood is just more reinforcement for the beliefs of the Culture of Death. At the March for Life, I'm always reminded that there are still many people fighting the good fight, and promoting Truth. That I'm not, afterall, alone.

There is no way I could attend this year. Even though I don't have the usual obligations of school or work, I have my little ones to take care of. I used to think it would be really awesome to bring children on the March. And maybe it will be - one day. But there are so many difficulties involved in bringing them when they are so young. We'd have to ride together on a charter bus with one of the local church groups. Would I bring the car seat? How would I manage with them alone?  Could I even bring a stroller on the bus? Then there's the freezing weather to contend with (it's under 10° in Pittsburgh right now!) - I really don't want to have my babies outside for hours. And what happens when Stella gets hungry? I can't just nurse her during the March. Naptimes would be skipped, everyone would be miserable and crying.  So unfortunately, it just isn't going to work again this year. 

Recently, I've come across some powerful posts/articles about abortion. Like this and this. [these articles are now two years old, but the links still work, and they are still worth reading]

With these things in mind, it spurred me to start a conversation with a friend about abortion. This person is a devout Catholic, and I remarked that he did not seem to get that "fired up" about about the issue, which surprised me. He responded with: "Yeah, of course abortion is wrong and terrible, but - I hate to say it - what can you do about it? People are still going to get abortions. You have to face it that the culture is heading down a path of corruption. It's going to keep getting worse, and there's nothing you can do. It would be like trying to stop a freight train. I think at this point, we basically are just waiting for the Second Coming."

Whoa, now. My response was this: "It may be true. Maybe things ARE just getting worse and worse. But I have to believe that the very thing Satan hopes for us to do is say, 'well, there's nothing I can do to change things. So I'm just going to do nothing.'"

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to change culture in a big or sweeping way - to influence many, and help change hearts. And I think very few are called by God to do that. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us don't have a responsibility as well. I continued my response by saying, "If what we're doing is waiting for the Second Coming, then we need to be as prepared as possible, and help others to be prepared. No, I'm probably not going to be able to effect much change to the culture, but I can do my very best to raise my children to know and love God. And I can share Truth with other people in my life, in hopes that it will maybe help them in some small way to get closer to God."

He went on to say that abortion wasn't as black and white as people make it seem. That most people who get abortions truly don't believe that it's a person, so for them, it might not represent as grave an offense.

My thoughts on that comment....Well, first of all, it is a person, and whether or not someone accepts that fact, abortion still constitutes a serious EVIL, and it needs to be stopped. Even if someone could receive an abortion free from all culpability (They were mentally unstable, and unaware of their actions, let's say) - even though they may not be actually committing a sin themselves (and let's say their method of abortion was self-induced - by taking some sort of drug - so as to remove the abortionist from this equation), it is still WRONG. Always.

Also, I really don't believe that most people truly think an unborn child is not a person. This is so maddenly obvious when you just hear the language that people use when referring to that child, dependent solely on whether or not it is WANTED. Those who have an unplanned, unexpected, and unwanted pregnancy refer to the baby as a "clump of cells," "pregnancy tissue," "embryo" or "fetus." They talk about not being ready to be a parent and how it would be unfair to carry "it" to term (this one really gets to me. What would be unfair is not giving your child a chance at life in the first place). They talk only about the woman's life and how it will be forever changed - in a negative way - if she has a baby.

But as soon as someone finds themself pregnant intentionally [and this is usually how it works these days. It's all very carefully planned out. After years of using birth control, partying and "having fun," getting to know yourself, getting to know your spouse (which really, you should have done before you married him or her), accumulating the little luxuries and the money you think you need, taking expensive vacations.... Then it's thought, "Now it's time for me to have a kid. I DESERVE to have a child. This is my RIGHT, and I will use whatever means possible to GET one."], the language used is different. Now they are pregnant with a baby, and expect congratulations for getting that way. They are "expecting." They start thinking of themselves as a mom, a dad. It would, of course, be weird and impersonal, to call it now a fetus. They change to a language of personhood, because - as soon as a child is wanted - most people DO truly think of it as a person. It kills me that our legal system can sentence criminals for double homicides when they kill a pregnant woman (okay, so the baby WAS a person. "homo" = man, "cide" = to kill), and then allow abortions simultaneously (so wait....Killing people is okay...if it's the mom who chooses to do it?'s aren't actually people, like you just said? Huh?).

We can't give up the fight. Even when it seems hopeless.
When the world around us is going to crap.
We need to remember that we already know Who will win in the end.

But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.  For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. (Lk 23:28-29)

And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” (Gn 4:10)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Teenage Melodrama

Oh. my. gosh.  I was just going through a big box of old high school papers that my dad dumped on me (he's in the final stages of emptying out my old bedroom at home), and found the most terrible, yet hilarious "rough draft" for a letter that I am REALLY thankful never actually got sent. 

This was written in the second semester of my senior year of high school.  So there was this boy....Our families had been friends for years, but the two of us were never much more than awkward acquaintances.  But we'd come to be in the same wide circle of friends, and by the end of high school, were chatting online (AOL instant messenger!) sometimes.  It was one of those classic cases of someone (me) having an enormous crush on another person (him), and yet totally not realizing it or admitting it to herself. 

I read the letter aloud to Tom this evening, and he kept exclaiming, "Is this STILL going?!" Anyways, here it is in all its glory.

[Boy's name],

I'm going to speak to you now very openly and honestly.  And let me just preface this by saying that this will probably be one of the most embarrassing things I ever write, and I'll probably regret having done it.  I've always regretted that we weren't closer than we are.  Our dads are friends, but when we see each other, there's always something of an awkwardness there... [No, I'm not skipping over any parts here. I just used to like to trail off my sentences with ellipses]
And I see you being unhappy often, and just feel're a nice guy and you don't deserve to be feeling this way.  I wish I could help you somehow.
I think it could help if you just talked to me - if you opened up.  Is it too much to ask that we become friends?  I hope you don't feel uncomfortable by this offer....
And I hope that in the future, we can see each other in person, and talk to each other as friends...
We're both kind of shy people.
Previously, I thought that when we talked, you disliked me or something because you always act...uncomfortable, but I realize now that it's just because we really don't know each other well, and neither of us ever really know what to say or how to act - and that's understandable.  But the truth is, I'd like to change this.
I wish we were friends.  You're probably wondering why the sudden interest in becoming friends...well, I'm really not sure exactly.  I think partly it's because of the nearing end of the school year - and I'm beginning to regret that there are so many people who I never really got to know.  Also, now that we talk online, it provides a more convenient and less uncomfortable mode of getting to know each other.  I hope you are open to this idea.
I hope I'm not...intimidating you somehow by this proposal - because I often come on too strongly with people.  And if you don't want to speak about personal things with me, that's okay.  And if you really aren't interesting in hearing any of MY problems either, well I guess I'll just have to accept that.
I understand, believe me, that the existence of this letter will probably only make the relationship we have even more awkward, and I'm very sorry for that - but I was just unable to keep these thoughts to myself any longer.
The situation has really been bothering me recently, though I can't figure out why.  And I understand that in order to become true "friends" involves much more than just talking to each other about what's on our minds - it would involve emotional connection, feelings of caring and respect, and all those things.  The benefit one receives from having a friend is so much greater than the cost.
And I see the potential for us to have a lot more in common than we realize - which is why I think it best for us to get to know each other.
I apologize a million times over for any embarrassment or discomfort which this letter may give you.  Please believe that mine is many times worse.  Because in writing this, I am exposing myself without knowing whether or not you plan to reciprocate.
Please let me know (through e-mail, I think best) your thoughts on this.
It's perfectly understandable if you think the idea to be a worthy one, but still something best not rushed into.  I can only hope that you don't completely refuse the idea of us becoming friends, because it would only make the whole situation even more distressing.  Because I always over-exaggerate things, I'm sure to take this for a sign of your "intense dislike" for me.
 Why did I single you out though?  I don't know...I'm sorry - I'm just following what my will is telling me to do.  Why did I have to write such a long drawn-out letter?  Why couldn't I just say "Hey, [boy's name], let's be friends!"  I don't know, I don't know.  Ahhhh!  My brain's so mixed up right now.
Again, I am so sorry that I had to write you a note like this - why couldn't I allow us to just become closer on our own?  I don't know, I don't know!  I'm sorry, and I said, I really haven't been able to stop thinking about this.  Once my mind focuses on a concept I CAN'T let go of it.  So please try not to feel...pressured by me.  Any decision you make regarding this, I will try to respect. Just please provide me with justification...
(Note that the tone of this last sentence expresses my fear that the forwardness of my approach will inevitably force you away - please please don't let me do this).
Really, this letter is just a simple extension of my friendship.  I think I have a lot to offer.  My only question is: will you accept it?

It was obvious that I secretly wanted more than just friendship from this fellow.  I find it hilarious to think of how a teenage boy would have reacted  to such emotional and verbal vomit!

Isn't that just the worst letter ever?  Well, maybe not, folks.  There was, a few pages later in the same notebook, a PART II!!  hahaha.  But I won't torture you any further.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Stupid Reason Not To Have More Kids

The real Gilbreth family of "Cheaper By the Dozen" fame

A baby-oriented business whose page I follow on Facebook recently asked a question to its 'fans': How many kids do you have?  Do you feel like you're "done"?

The responses, largely, were quite depressing to read.  Moms proudly exclaiming "one and done!!"; overly-personal comments about how they'd been "fixed" after having two;  a note-worthy number of women saying they'd love more, but their husbands had emphatically said "absolutely not" (I found this latter type of response to be the saddest of all for some reason).

One of the comments especially struck me.  The woman replied, "our car is full, so yes, we're done."  I reflected on that for awhile.  How something so trivial as the way cars are manufactured - a product which, if you're honest with yourself, is not in fact necessary for human existence (although, granted, damn useful) - could determine something so important as the number of souls we bring into this world.  This is a problem, I would think, only us moderns have to contend with.

But I remembered how the same issue was almost enough to make us consider "postponing" for awhile too.  After Stella was born, Tom and I sat down and forced ourselves to have the dreaded conversation about whether we had the "serious [or "grave" or "just" depending on who you talk to] reasons" required for moral use of NFP according to the Catholic Church to postpone another pregnancy (something neither of us are entirely comfortable with, for various reasons).  Our finances were pretty stretched, but were they so stretched that it was inconceivable to support another?  No...God would see us through, we knew.  Did I feel like getting pregnant again, a month or two after giving birth?  Um, no.  But that didn't seem like a sufficient reason to us.  But then I brought up the issue of our car, and how there was NO way we could fit a third carseat in the back.  I had to take Tom outside and prove it to him.  But he conceded that it was true.  And, we knew, there was no way we could afford another car.  Well, that settled it.  We couldn't have another baby until we could afford a new car.

Luckily, we quickly came to our senses and realized that this was pretty poor reasoning, probably stemming more from our fears than from good sense.  Practically speaking: we're still making payments on our current car, anyways...if we sold it, and bought a bigger one (possibly on a loan) would probably end up costing about the same amount out of our budget each month anyways.  Nothing would seem to change.  And beyond that, we can't let our family size be dictated by something that's ultimately fairly trivial and able to be got around somehow.

Thoughts?  Are we being appropriately "generous"?  Too scrupulous?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Can't Get a Break!

This is not me.  But I think it's an apt caricature of how life with little ones can feel sometimes ;-)

For a while now, I've been longing to get out of the house by myself, just for a couple hours.  It didn't really matter much what I would do, just so long as I could have some totally kid-free Christine time.  Tom's expressed a willingness to keep an eye on the kids at home so I could do this.  But I've been hesitating because of Stella.  She is a total Momma's girl, and basically flips out if I'm not in the same room as her, let alone the same house.  Also, with the exception of a couple successful attempts when she was a month old, she's refused to take a bottle.  In the past, when I saw babies act like this, I would judgmentally assume that the mother was "doing something wrong" and causing the child to be overly dependent.  But now I know it's not true!  Every baby is different, and every baby is different ways.

I recently rescued my childhood rubber stamp collection from my dad's house, and am excited to teach Sly how to use them.  But of course, all the ink pads are completely dried up after all these years.  I've been hoping to get to a store to buy a new ink pad, so when I got my 50% off coupon for Jo-Ann Fabrics in the mail*, I convinced Tom that this is just what it should be used for.  So the plan was to cut out of the house this afternoon to do that, followed by a luxurious trip (by myself!) to somewhere like Marshall's, to look for a couple replacement white t-shirts/camis (as well as to just enjoy browsing the housewares).

Before I left today, I swaddled Stella up nice and tight and nursed her until she fell asleep.  I ever-so-carefully transferred her to her playmat, said bye to the husband, and then sneaked out. My first five minutes in JoAnn's were heavenly.  It was the first time I've been all alone and out of the house in ages.  I didn't have a baby strapped on my chest!  I didn't have to push a cart!  I didn't have to keep an eye on anyone!  I was totally free!!  But then I made the mistake of giving Tom a really quick phone call to ask him a question about something we've been needing to buy.  When he picked up, all I could hear was the deafening and tormented screams of my baby.  Ughhhh.  I made some suggestions about ways to settle her down, and he answered in an obviously exasperated tone that he had already tried every last one, to no avail.  He made it quite clear that he would like me to come home as soon as possible.  Man.  Foiled!

So I never made it to the second destination, and I had to race through the first one much faster than I'd intended.  I hope Stella grows out of this "phase" (I sure hope that's what it is!) soon, because it's pretty tiring to be the only person who can hold her all the time.

*The 50% off coupon turned out to be such a cheap ploy!  It's only good on "regular-priced items".  But I walked in to find that EVERYTHING in the store was on sale.  The only item I saw that was not on sale was the candy in the checkout line.  So while you still end up getting a sale price on your purchases, nothing was as much as the 50% off you were expecting.  I felt pretty cheated.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Living the Dream

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to get married and have a family - husband, kids, a home of my own.  It began as mostly a default, when I was young.  Mommy and Daddy were married with a home, and so were the aunts and uncles and all the families I knew - that's just what people "did", it's what I knew.  Naturally, I thought, I would do the same one day.  As I began to grow up - specifically, as I became aware that I was growing up - the desire for a family became stronger.  This dream of mine was an interesting mix of a desire for greater autonomy (wanting to make my own way in the world, find a man of my own to love, establish my own household rules, decorating scheme, etc.) and simultaneously a longing to return to childhood (maybe I was too old to play hide-and-seek anymore, but, hey - my kids wouldn't be! I could pass on so many great memories, games, etc. to children of my own).  Once I was college-aged and out in the dating world, it seemed like a possibility that was closer and closer.  I began to actively store up ideas, asking questions of other parents, reading books about strong marriages, taking note of family traditions worth emulating - basically just trying to figure out what things were important for families, and what environment and practices I wanted to establish in my future home.

Even now, I'm constantly taking in new information, imagining how I want our home and our family to be.  I've been thinking so much of this beautiful future I've planned out, that it didn't even hit me: I'm already there.  This revelation struck me several times over the Christmas season.  The life I always wanted?  It's here.  I have it.  It's not 100% perfect, of course, and I hope I never expected it to be.  But I already have the right husband (sure we fight sometimes, but he's a good man and we are good for each other.  Our relationship is slowly, but surely, improving), I have a comfortable house (sure, it's "just a rental", but we've turned it very much into our home, and we're fortunate to live here), I have children (perhaps not the full brood yet, but these two already mean the world to me).  And those little traditions and treasures I hoped to teach and pass on to them?  Well, that's started happening too.  Over Christmas, Sly helped decorate the tree, we made pomanders, I had him add straw to the manger, etc. etc.

And yet much of the time, I just didn't "notice" that so many of the things I'd envisioned were already happening.  In my mind, I was dreaming about future Christmases, when we'd have (hopefully) more kids, and older kids, and all the fun things we could do then.

I spend too much time conceiving this "great" future, and so never let myself fully enjoy the present that I'm living in.  A present that, perhaps, is only as "ideal" as it is because of prior plans and dreams of mine.  But if I'm never going to appreciate it, then what's the point of planning and creating something at all?

To help explain what I mean: the other day Tom and I were sitting in our (new) living room after the kids' bedtime, just talking for several hours.  It was a real luxury we allowed ourselves, since so often in the evenings we feel the need to tackle chores and projects around the house.  I said to him, "you know - this room, even though it's nowhere near "finished" - is really cozy.  In fact, our whole house is pretty nice and cozy.  How many friends have come over and told us that?....but how often do we actually stop and just sit and be and enjoy it?  We're constantly thinking of new projects we need to start, and ways to make it better, and so we never actually appreciate what we have now."  He completely agreed with me.

Enjoying or not enjoying my house is one thing, but where I really need to be careful is when it comes to my family.  I rarely take the time to just relish the little moments with my family that are happening now.  It's fine to look forward to the future, but only if I remember to stop and notice all the blessings I already have, and to be thankful for them.

Friday, January 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 24)

My generous husband spent some time last night re-doing my blog header for me so now it's finally not blurry and super-amateurish-looking anymore!  Behold it above, in its non-pixelated glory!

 I've been trying to gather information from other parents about when their kids learned the names of colors.  Sly knows all his animals, shapes, some letters and numbers, and many other things besides.  But he is hopelessly bad at recognizing colors.  I won't go into the genetics of it now, but colorblindness runs in the family, and it is quite possible that I'm a carrier, which would mean that statistically, 50% of my sons should be colorblind.  I'm wondering if this could be the answer to Sly's color-recognition issues, or if it's just way too early to assume anything.  I'm not worried about it, really - two of my three brothers are colorblind, and I realize it doesn't affect too much of their lives - but I'd just kind of like to know, ya know?

I've decided to start compiling a binder with ideas for celebrating the liturgical year in our family.  This will certainly be an ongoing project, something to be added to whenever I come across a new idea, or have some extra time.  It will be organized chronologically, and have ideas for ways to recognize important days/seasons in the church.  I can put prayers, recipes, etc.  In my optimistic vision of myself in the future, I picture myself actually remembering to consult the binder at the beginning of the month, and planning out certain events/meals as appropriate.  Ha -we'll see how that actually goes.

My first addition was a really inspiring article I'd read about celebrating Christmas.

I made the yummiest dinner the other night.  It was orange chicken, and it tasted every bit as good as if it came from a ("good") Chinese restaurant.  This will probably sound insanely obvious to most of you, but I'd never really considered that you could make it at home.  I just cut up chunks of chicken breast, breaded them (I used Frying Magic breading with egg, and double-dipped each chunk), and fried them in vegetable oil in a pan.  As they finished, I tossed them into a big bowl, and when they were all done, I poured an entire bottle of store-bought "orange sauce" over top.  Super delish.  You can also omit the sauce, and you have perfect homemade "chicken nuggets".

Stella is four and a half months old, and I've definitely hit the point where I find myself thinking, "I'm ready for another baby!".  I'm not feeling ready to actually be pregnant, though.  I'd love to have a non-pregnant summer...or at least a partial one.   But a few weeks ago, when I mistakenly believed for a short time that a friend was expecting her third baby, I found myself feeling rather jealous, wishing that we were going to be having a third one soon as well.  I know, it's crazy. 

A number of people have remarked recently on how cute it is that Sly uses the third person when referring to himself ("Sly want book", "Sly want to do it Sly's self", etc.).  I know it's a common enough thing with toddlers, but it's pretty extreme in Sly.   I realized yesterday that it's completely our fault.  We rarely refer to ourselves as "I" when we talk to Sly (we say "Mommy said no" or "give it to Daddy").  And the funny thing is, I remember that we first started to do that around him intentionally over a year ago, when it became clear that he didn't understand our names were "Mommy and Daddy".  So we wanted to emphasize it.  It's a hard habit to break!

The kids finally have the same bedtime, and both go down easily, which is awesome, because it means I have the evenings to spend getting stuff done or just hanging with my husband again!  Also, we've had time to work on projects again, such as some built-in bookcases...

the alcove as it was
supports for shelves
completed shelves.  there will be a cabinet below

Painting the backs of the shelves

I'll show more pictures of the finished results, hopefully soon!

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary