Friday, October 10, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 43)

I've taken on a ton of commitments recently.  I think subconsciously, it's because I want to take advantage of this time when I'm not pregnant, and actually have the energy to do things.  Oh, and because my pleasant little Linus not only happily drinks from a bottle (which his older sister never did), but has also started on solid foods recently, which means I can sometimes leave him with Tom when I go out!

I'm part of a weekly Endow study group, a bi-weekly Catholic moms book group (currently reading The Seven Storey Mountain), another monthly study group with women from my church, and I host a monthly discussion group at my house.  I'm also participating in biweekly "craft nights" (to finally finish the mittens I started knitting for Tom two years ago), take Sly to two weekly catechism programs, and go to occasional other activities with my Catholic moms group...and then there are all the various doctors appointments, errands, trips to the library, grocery shopping, etc. that has to happen.  Oy!  A number of these activities are in the evenings, and my husband has been really awesome about letting me leave the kids with him and get out of the house.

Some days get rather hectic, but really - I like being busy.  I'm happier when I have a full schedule.  And despite being "shy", I'm a definite extrovert, and it's been excellent to have all these opportunities to be with other people.

And to add to the packed schedule, the other night I joined a local quilting class/group that's starting up in my community.  They meet two evenings a week, and I'm really looking forward to learning some new skills.  It's just me and three middle-aged women, plus our (middle-aged woman) instructor.  We pick our own fabric, but we all work on the same pattern.  Our first project is going to be a baby quilt, and part of it has to include appliqué work.

Last weekend, the temperature dipped into the cold zone, spurring me to switch out my summer clothes for my winter ones.  All my winter skirts were stored in a box at the back of my closet - many of them made from wool, or other thick materials.  I had followed the advice you read in so many magazines about rolling your clothes instead of folding them.  Bad idea.  I might as well have just wadded all my skirts into balls, they're so wrinkled!  Definitely going back to regular folding when I pack them away next time.  I'm going to have to iron almost all of them now, and my "ironing pile" is still full of summer stuff that I haven't gotten to yet!

And speaking of breaking out the winter clothes, Stella was put into footie pajamas last night for the first time since last winter.  She had an absolute meltdown about the feet, and screamed and clawed at them for a good twenty minutes.  Anyone else's toddler do this?

For the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Tuesday, I helped the kids make some chocolate chip (and butterscotch chip) Rosaries, as suggested on Catholic All Year.

But we used mini chocolate chips for all the decade beads, because using the full-size ones would have been way too much chocolate before bedtime.

picking out all the big chips first

Speaking of the Rosary, our nightly prayers have definitely been enriched since we got this beautiful Rosary book with depictions of all the mysteries.  There's not much room left on the top of our home altar, so the small sized one was perfect for us.  Sly has really enjoyed flipping the pages while we pray to see what the next mystery is, and explain to us what's happening in each painting.  And I find it's also improved my ability to focus on the mystery and pay better attention to my prayers.

Anna, a regular commenter here, makes these stand-up booklets along with her husband.  They are creating various resources that use sacred art to teach and inspire people in the Faith.  Please consider supporting this great family business.

I often get a little disappointed when there's "dessert" that doesn't involve chocolate.  You know, like fruity desserts (pies, crisps, etc.) or the ubiquitous loaf cakes that every woman seems to serve at every event ever (pumpkin bread, banana bread, nut bread, etc.).  Don't get me wrong, baked goods are always welcome.  But as I've said to Tom, only half-jokingly, one of my personal mottos could be "if it's not chocolate, it's not dessert!"

A friend posted a recipe for cobbler the other day.  But not just any cobbler - chocolate cobbler!  So I whipped one up the other night, just because.  It was pretty darn good.

Every time I go to the supermarket, I have to get myself a (chocolate-frosted cake) doughnut in the bakery section.  Those of you with a true sweet tooth know what I'm talking about. Tom doesn't share my affinity for baked goods.  He has even dared to suggest that I don't need to give in to the urge each time I pass the bakery section.  But the other night I was vindicated.  I made a quick stop at the store for a couple ingredients I needed, and the guy bagging the groceries for me said "wow - only one doughnut?!  You must have a lot of self-control!":-)  Ha!

[I like that three of my Takes today were about eating chocolate]

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Some Quotes and Stories from My First-Born

Because this kid is a real hand-full sometimes...

We've explained to Sly before that superheros are "just cartoon characters."  A couple weeks ago, Tom and the kids went to cheer me on while I was running in a 10K race.  One of the other runners was dressed as Captain America.  Sly was pretty excited about it, and recounted it to me after the race.  He ended with, "Captain America looked pretty real to me."

Last week for St. Therese's feast day, we were digging around inside our altar to find a special St. Therese chaplet of ours.  The search unearthed our little stash of relics, which Sly had never seen before.  He was completely fascinated by them, and wanted to hear the story about each of them, and give each one a kiss [we own a number of third class relics, and one second class relic.  No first class ones...yet].  The next night, Tom asked if Sly had any intentions for our Rosary.  He quickly offered, "That we get more relics!"

Tom's been teaching Sly how to pray on his own - each night before bed he tells Sly to think of a prayer in his head and say it to God.  Afterwards, Tom asks Sly what he'd said.  The first night, Sly's prayer was, "Jesus, I really really love you.  Help me to be more like You." We were pretty impressed.  But then the following night, Sly came up with, "Jesus, help me to get more toys."  So....we have some more work to do.

Tom often says that watching tv "turns your brains to mush."  The other day while Sly was "at naptime", I was downstairs, folding huge piles of laundry with the tv on.  Sly must have heard it, so he came down and said, "Mommy, I think your brain turned into mush."

Speaking of "naptime", Sly hasn't actually slept during the day for at least a year, but I still insist he spend a couple hours in his room each day because I need that time.  But he's constantly coming up with new schemes and excuses for getting out of his room, however briefly.  Usually some "really important" thing he has to say to us. 

Last weekend, he began to employ a new strategy that really had us baffled for a while.  He would come downstairs with quite convincing tears streaming down his face, acting incredibly contrite, saying he needed to apologize for something - usually something dumb that there were no rules against anyways.    "<sniffle, sniffle> I'm sorry <sniffle> that I smacked the floooooooooor <cry, whine, sniffle>".  Tom or I would tell him it was alright, pat him on the back, and send him back up with instructions not to come down again.  But each time it got more ridiculous. A little later you'd hear him sniffling his way down again.  I'd sternlysay  his name, and ask why he was out of bed.  Then he'd appear around the corner, red-eyed, saying, "I'm <sniffle!> sorry I <sniffle> came dowwwwwwn!"  And finally it devolved into - my favorite - "I'm <sniffle> sorry for <sniffle> everything the <intake of breath> whooooooooole wooooooorld <bursting into tears>".  Ugh. 

I think we finally nipped it in the bud, but it was a weird couple days, and we couldn't really figure out how to handle him since he already seemed so genuinely upset.  Tom suggested that he could probably have earned an Oscar for his performance.

Sly: "Stella, you're bad!"
Me: "No, we don't say that. You need to apologize."
Sly: "Stella, I'm sorry that you're bad."