Friday, January 30, 2015

7QTs - While Papa's Away Edition

All the single parents out there... Props to you! Survived a week of sola parenting and makes me really appreciate my other half because the load was FULL this week.  #withhashtagsforeffect

--- 1 ---

Way to kick off the week with forgetting a coat. 

--- 2 ---

This girl... Oh yeah I said that last week!

When Papa's away what do we eat??? BLACK BEANS quesadillas/burritos... Me and my girls favs...

--- 3 ---

Oh Saturday... I could have used my husband's presence. 

How many times have I used a plunger? Either not enough or too much. I prefer the latter but the former would have helped.

The kids toilet needed plunging on Friday but I totally rocked that baby - 3 plunges and voila!

The kids use our toilet at times too. And we've I've had a lengthly discussion about THE NUMBER OF SQUARES! So plunging our bathroom was a total, epic fail. I believe I called Lee after the toilet was overflowing onto the floor.

Apparently when trying to unclog a toilet you cannot plunge, plunge, plunge - FLUSH unless there is significant downward water movement. Flushing too often = AWFUL.

I'd change a MILLION - yes a million stinky diapers before I'd elect to clean up that kind of bathroom mess again. Double washed everything.

Other situations in which Papa comes in really usefully.... When the Roomba spinny brush thingy doesn't spin and I try the protocol to fix and it DOESN'T!

Also, when I cannot figure out why I am freezing and the heat is on 68 (that's high around here). I realize that freezing air is coming down from upstairs. Oh the new thermostat doesn't work? My guess is it is in the low 50s up there. Sooooo... close the doors and hope for the best


Oh back to Saturday... a grocery store in town had Boston Butts on sale (like half off) and those just happen to be what is used for the parish sausage fundraiser. And there will be a sausage making sesh coming up. I preordered... ehem... 60 butts. Why did I have to pick them up sola with the kiddos in tow? Because we have the parish freezers in our garage.

Oh and then I loaded them into the freezers... Wish I could have taken the meat counter guy who loaded them up for me.

It was 5:22 when we were leaving the parking lot and I'm thinking to myself why in the WORLD did I not get dinner prepped BEFORE we left. Good thing those meatballs take 15 min to cook.

Survived a sola bathe-ing of three...  three times for the duration of the papa-exile. The second bathe-ing session M was BEYOND messy so I got her fully prepped for the tub at her chair to cut down on the crumbs BUT


Diaper removal resulted in a bigger ehem... preventable mess had I just looked in the diaper before I took it off!!! Always check diaper or a repeat of Saturday AM will occur : (

--- 4 ---

Oh Sunday... Most epic mad dash to church EVER... Not a good sign when I wake up to M on the monitor and look at the clock and see 6:39. What time are we supposed to leave? Hmmm... 6:45... Breathe, breathe... Outta the garage by 7:01. #yepiamarockstar

Rocked dinner out too

Chicken noodle casserole.

If you have read the blog much you'll probably know that Lee's alittle bit of a foodie. He is adamantly against casseroles.

In principle.
Because when he was growing up (a century ago) the casseroles tasted bad.


We'll when Papa's away (and not cooking because he cooks because he rocks like that) Mama makes 4 ingredient chicken noodle casserole. And it was a huge hit.

E - I LOVE this chicken noodle casserole
Me - Good
E - We need to make it for Papa
Me - Well you'll have to convince to eat it
E - Just put it on his plate
Me - mmmm... doesn't work like that for Papa at least


--- 5 ---

E decided to take her rosary for show and tell. 

After asking her if she was ***REALLY sure she wanted to take it and what was she going to talk about and seriously? Hail Marys? Mysteries? 

My first thought... Oh gosh she is going to get kicked out of her baptist preschool. : ) except #ecumenisminpreschool

Taco boats for dinner... Yep they were great. 

Do you see the 15 minute meal pattern going on : )


--- 6 ---

Who am I? Getting snack drinks ready for school the night before? 

Can we discuss how easy leftovers are? We had leftovers twice because the girls combined really only eat a portion for one


--- 7 ---

The girls have been FaceTiming Papa like crazy. It is so funny. E always gets an update on the food he has eaten - a child after her papa's heart. R just briefly speaks but mostly just wants to look at the screen. M is so confused but enjoys holding the phone.

Outside of me, I think there are 3 little people who cannot wait for their papa to be home for lunch today. 

Oh and it was Wacky Wednesday for W week in the 4 yr old room. E LOVES LOVES LOVES theme days. When I dropped her off the teacher to the effect - "good think mom's in town this week." #validation


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Overheard Around the Casa

Lots of random quotes, a few random pics... I probably could write these weekly but I won't torture you that often...

{One of the more pleasant conversations with a random guy that leaves me at a loss for words}
Random Guy on plane - So how old are your kids?
Me - Four. Two and one.
RG - So what happened to 3?
Me - …

{Trying to understand how a man thinks...}
Me - Well if you are going look don't buy a new washer too because that works fine. Only the dryer is dying
Lee - But I like matching sets
Me - But you are afraid of twins?
Lee - Hopefully they are not in my genes
Me - But twins have absolutely nothing to do with the man
Lee - Well hopefully I married the right girl who doesn't have twin genes
Me - But you like matching sets?

Lee - Sounds tragic
Me - It's not tragic
Lee - Well it's tragic
Me - A plane crash is tragic. Eating too many Oreos is just dumb
Lee - I was trying to pep you up, Chicky

Me - I did not realize how many women in the Old Testament were barren
Lee - Yeah almost every key player was from a barren womb
Me - I guess we're not going to have any key players then
Lee- Yeah, I guess not. Maybe we'll have some on the 2nd team


{post rest}
Me - How was your sleep?
R - …. Where Papa?
Me - He's upstairs… 
R - Oh
{five min later}
E - ….
Me - How was your rest?
E - … Where's Papa?
{feeling the love}

What other condiments are the sea creatures interested in?

Swim Teacher - What did the fishes say underwater? (because she was trying to get them to put their heads in)

E - Is egg-nut a state?
Me - No
E - Why?
Me - It's just not
E - But Florida is???

She's currently wanting me to take pics of 
EVERY SINGLE Lego creation

E - Elizabeth… lemons
E - Mama, Llama
E - Rebekah, Leka
E - Monica, Honica
E - Papa, Wapa
E - Mama, Kama

E - How does a baby get in your tummy?
Me - God puts them there
E - Mami, during circle time for prayer request you know…
Me - … No
E - I prayed for a baby boy

When your neighbor gives you a Chocolate Lava Crunch cake 
you realize you have AWESOME neighbors

{failed efforts at delaying bedtime}
E - Mommy I had a bad dream
Me - You haven't fallen asleep yet
E - But I had one and it was scary
Me - Well what was it about?
E - Umm... I can't remember

{First time being served uncooked spinach}
E - I'm not eating leaves
Me - It's spinach
R - I eat my trees
E - But they are so leafy!!!!!!!

Getting marching orders

Me - Our behavior at church tonight was pretty good.
R - Meeeee? I get dessss-ert
Me - Well R, it was good. You need to work on being obedient
E - Like a beaver - I focused on the task at hand
Me - No the beaver taught us about being diligent, not obedient
E - Oh, we have not learned that animal yet
Me - Oh don't worry we will get to that character quality too

{Always on the look out for good letter of the week words for circle time}
R - Soccer ball! that's an EE word!
Me - No those start with two different letters
E - Woman at the well is two W words!

Goodness I love them!

R - I don't like buggies
Me - Do you like fire ants?
R - ... Yes! I can step on them!
Me - That's not a good idea. They might bite your feet
E - Not if you wear shoes
Me- One bit me last year and I was wearing shoes
R - Meeee tooooooo. My ant hill!!!!

{This is what happens when you have girls who love listening to and singing church hymns in Latin}
R - What's La-tin?
E - Well... It's something you don't understand, and you don't understand but you keep listening and then you learn the words. What's Latin?
Me - It's another language

{in my hoodie and tights while trying to manage breakfast clean up and teeth brushing}
R - You look pre-tee
Me- Thanks R, I'm not done yet

R - I like you
Me- I like you too!

I be mad at you too M if you keep sneaking up this bed!

{talking to M who was holding a book}
R - Yoou can'T eat dat….
R - I be mad
R - Youuu.. can't eat dat

You'd like our neighbors too but we are keeping them FOR-EVER!

Me - What should we read tonight?
R - The Grunch
Me - What???
Me - Oh The Grinch?

Me - Who are you thankful for today, R? 
R - Mmmmm… Jesus, Mair-we, Ladin. 
Me - Latin?
R - Ladin
Me - AnyONE else
R - Ummm… The Sh-perds

{because Build-a-Bear t-shirt look weird?}
R - Look!
Me - What?
R - Someone's undies! I think they Audrey's (her real live friend from down the street) 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

7QTs - Baby Wearing, Pasta, & Christmas Dresses

Oh why not... 

--- 1 ---

This girl...

I had washed my Beco a few weeks ago after its long stay in the endless pile of stuff in the van. I figured I would put it upstairs because we weren't using it. Well M has decided that NEEDS me to hold her at every waking moment she sees me and this has been my solution.

Not that I'm opposed to holding her but all the time with no hands to do anything is not going to work out longterm. Also, she is FINE for an hour playing with the big sisters and as soon as I walk in the door it is  - rush over to me, put hands in air, and start crying. Not kidding. I'm flattered...

--- 2 ---

With all the end of year sales and stuff and discounts going on I found 2015 Christmas dresses for St. Nicholas to give the girls. 

Lee likes them more than last year's Christmas dresses and he said to not read anything into the comment... and I'm trying not to.
--- 3 ---

Speaking of Papa... Last week he told me that there was Soup with the Saints hosted by the Columbiettes and he thought we should go and it would be good for the girls because it was for kids.

Apparently he did not read the fine print... Or ANY print for that matter because it was not a presentation geared for kids - by a long shot and the handful of kids there were probably in the low double digits of age. Any way, the food was good. We learned a bit about St. Teresa of Avila, got a few bookmarks and E MADE me sign up to get a St. Teresa medal mailed to us. I was shocked how well the girls behaved so I hope it will be a monthly thing and I hope we'll be back

--- 4 ---

I finally finished Chosen and Cherished! I need to get the next book in the series for sure... 

--- 5 ---

This girl... Oh wait I've already said that... 

She may not be walking yet  but she thinks she is as big as her sisters... 

Oh and she's the world's quietest monkey too... 

--- 6 ---

E is still swimming away at swim class. We are toying with the idea of joining a swim club/swim team for the summer. We will see if that happens. I grew up swimming on a team. Lee did not. Pool business during the summer time? Yeah that's just funny. 

I even survived bringing R and M along for the class because Lee had some work errands... M was pretty sick of it by the end but we powered through. 

--- 7 ---

Did I mention Lee is an awesome cook... 

Yep it was that good and there's one in the freezer too... 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What is Responsible Parenthood?

Raise your hand if you are tired about hearing the Pope and his rabbit comments?

Yeah me too.

Probably not the best word choice or description but hey he's the Pope. He's not God. He is a sinful man just like the rest of us so let's cut him a break and get to the heart of the point of the comment.

Responsible Parenthood.

What is responsible parenthood?

There is an entire section of Humanae Vitae on the topic. In Pope Paul VI's encyclical defending the Church's position against the use of artificial birth control here is what is written:

Responsible Parenthood
10. Married love, therefore, requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which today, rightly enough, is much insisted upon, but which at the same time should be rightly understood. Thus, we do well to consider responsible parenthood in the light of its varied legitimate and interrelated aspects. 

With regard to the biological processes, responsible parenthood means an awareness of, and respect for, their proper functions. In the procreative faculty the human mind discerns biological laws that apply to the human person. (9)

With regard to man's innate drives and emotions, responsible parenthood means that man's reason and will must exert control over them. 

With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time. 

Responsible parenthood, as we use the term here, has one further essential aspect of paramount importance. It concerns the objective moral order which was established by God, and of which a right conscience is the true interpreter. In a word, the exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties toward God, themselves, their families and human society. 

From this it follows that they are not free to act as they choose in the service of transmitting life, as if it were wholly up to them to decide what is the right course to follow. On the contrary, they are bound to ensure that what they do corresponds to the will of God the Creator. The very nature of marriage and its use makes His will clear, while the constant teaching of the Church spells it out. (10) "

There a a number of ways that you can go about interpreting what is being written. For me, I think it means that a couple needs to consider the moral aspects of bringing a child into this world if physical (health), economic (money), psychological and social ESPECIALLY if one or more of those aspects is already strained. God gave us free will and we must exercise it. We are not animals (rabbits).

I do feel for the woman who the Pope singles out - the one who has 7 kids and is pregnant with her 8th. This is not why the Pope is calling her out if you will. I believe he is concerned that she has had 7 c-sections and presumably will have another c-section. From my limited knowledge about c-sections, I am under the impression that having more than 2 or 3 or 4 was not considered medically safe. So if this woman's risk factors for XYZ are raised each time she has a subsequent c-section and she has been advised that having another c-section could lead to her death THEN leaving 7 or 8 kids motherless would IN MY OPINION not be morally responsible.

IN MY OPINION. (Not passing judgement here, you are allowed to have an opinion but no pass judgment, right? )

That's not to say God will not watch over her and guide her through this pregnancy and you know I am sure we all hope and pray she and her baby are okay.

Back to responsible parenthood.

Maybe this couple discerned that having another baby was the will of God and they went for it. Maybe they were trying to get the hang of NFP and got tripped up. Ultimately it does not matter because it is between them and God.

There is another option that is NEVER talked about these days from the pulpit and is NOT artificial birth control. Well birth control is barely talked about from the pulpit and is likely brushed over is most marriage prep classes so let's get that out of the way and say that's a HUGE problem but that's a whole other ballgame.


What's wrong with abstinence? Well, it is not easy and very much against the culture of today of gotta-have-it-now and immediate gratification. However there are couples who practice abstinence in situations when one of those previously mentioned aspects - physical, economic, psychological and social - is out of line and that couple deems it not morally sound to consider bringing a child into the world. That's a tough decision to come to and one that is probably not talked about too terribly much because there is likely some suffering going on and who talks about that stuff anyways?

But why not talk about abstinence? The bedroom is a typical topic of conversation these days, right?

Well actually it is because birth control, IUDs and vasectomies are a topic of 'normal' conversation - trust me I spend 10 hours in a retail store once a week and when you have had some RANDOM guy say 'So when your husband gets his vasectomy make sure...' you start to wonder where modesty has gone.

I think abstinence is a reasonable option that is 100% effective. And it doesn't have to mean abstinence forever. Maybe it is until a couple gets the charting part of NFP down, maybe it is until someone is back to feeling normal. Maybe it will force you to talk about how things are going and how you are feeling. Maybe it will require sacrificing something for the person you love the most.

Back to responsible parenthood because I think I'm rambling and it is almost time for my rabbits to rise.

I think responsible parenthood is something that each couple must step back and take an evaluation of their marriage and their family. It means different things to different couples. It is not restricted to just bringing children into this world either - it is about raising God-loving and God-fearing children.

And I'll have Pope Paul VI wrap this up from the last paragraph of HV:

A Great Work
31. Venerable brothers, beloved sons, all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of charity to which We now summon all of you. And this We do relying on the unshakable teaching of the Church, which teaching Peter's successor together with his brothers in the Catholic episcopate faithfully guards and interprets. And We are convinced that this truly great work will bring blessings both on the world and on the Church. For man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature. These laws must be wisely and lovingly observed. On this great work, on all of you and especially on married couples, We implore from the God of all holiness and pity an abundance of heavenly grace as a pledge of which We gladly bestow Our apostolic blessing.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Around the Interwebs

1. Education in Finland - Apparently Finland has awesome schools, lots of people aspire to be teachers and kids are in school for 4.5 hours a day. I'm powering through the book mentioned in the first sentence in the article so I might actually complete 2 books in a month and reading wasn't even on my list of New Year's Resolutions!

2. Need Another Reason to Strongly Dislike Common Core? - Of course you do! Why push a five yr old to read if they are not ready? I don't recall reading in kindergarten and I think I turned out okay. Yes kids must learn how to read (maybe by age 7) but cut the kindergarteners a break and let them play more!

3. Everyone who is pregnant should read this. Since it seems that Facebook is going to EXPLODE with babies from May-August. I can relate to this so much because having babies and the thought of more can be really daunting.

4. Realizing that birth control is really awful; there's an alternative. I've always been wondering if all the women who spend gobs of money for organic, hormone free foods use birth control. That seems like it would be an oxymoron because then they would be paying to put hormones in their bodies - the same things they are trying to keep out of their food. Apparently there is a somewhat growing trend of women who are rejecting birth control in favor of charting (i.e. NFP). The article is pretty biased against the idea of charting but maybe the tides are changing?

5. Coming back to life after 12 years. Yep it is that insane.

Got a minute to spare? Go vote in the Sheenazing Awards : ) 

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Sheenazing Voting

Bonnie over at A Knotted Life hosts these super fun blogging awards every year and this year I was nominated for Best Under Appreciated Blog because well you know me and my little space on the inter webs aren't terribly widely read : )

If you have a moment go over and vote and check out some other really awesome Catholic (and there's a non-Papist category too) bloggers.

And if you have no idea who Fulton Sheen is... look him up : )

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stressin' over the Mess

I have a problem.

Yep, I'll swallow my pride and tell you it is me, not them.

My kids toys stress me out. In fact all the things - toys, papers, bills, clothes, work folders - can stress me out when I think about how cluttered with extra STUFF my life can be. However all of my stuff I can shove in my closet or make a semi-neat pile and it's okay. But the girls toys are are different story

Evidence of the play path...

When the girls don't clean up their toys in a timely manner or I have to ask them for the tenth time to JUST CLEAN UP! I get frustrated with them and their stuff. Sometimes I take the toys they don't clean up away and other times I'll just wait (after begging and raising my voice) for them to clean it up.

I know my kids are being kids. I should be savoring these moments, right? They won't be little forever.

Right, I get it.

I don't what to be a mom that is uptight about our house being pristine. I want our house feel like home. I want our house to feel (and consequently look) lived it.

But I don't want my home to have toys everywhere at all times.

Is it possible or is it an oxymoron?

The girls have a habit of making a mess in one room and going to another and going to another and then going upstairs and dumping the toys boxes. So that is four different places for them to spread their treasures and play and dress up and create.

Peacefully at play... Ask me how long that lasted! : ) 

But that's four places that took them less than 5 minutes to take apart and can take them upwards of an hour to clean up and lots of encouraging and timer setting threats on our part.

Onward march to the puzzles... and M's box of toys

It drives me crazy that I let myself get upset with my kids over their lackluster clean up ways. I should have bigger things to worry/stress/get upset over, right? I don't want to yell at them (but sometimes it happens) to clean up their stuff. I would just rather them clean it up quickly the first time I ask - but they are kids so that's not a terribly reasonable expectation.

I would rather them have less stuff to clean up because then they'd clean up quicker. Quite possible. Taking away the toys they cannot clean up after 20 minutes or whatever the REASONABLE given clean up time has helped. They really don't miss too many things. However, this timed clean up leads to E SCREAMING at R to CLEAN UP. Then I am reminded that's what I probably sound like aside from the fact the volume is excessive; or wait, my volume is probably excessive and E is just a recording of me. I've talked to a few other parents who have a similar system of limiting toy quantities and rotating them in and out of commission. Sounds like a good idea and every night the floors are picked up. And if don't yell and worry about the mess until the clean up time then I'm golden. So I am adopting a stress free clean up mentality.

Little Legos + baby = no bueno

I would rather them have fewer spaces to play so their play (mess) is contained. We used to keep their kitchen in our kitchen/dining room. Last week we moved it into their room so that is one less space to have their stuff. This has been awesome. We opted to keep the kitchen accessible to M because she cannot go upstairs unsupervised (actually she has made her way upstairs all by herself unnoticed - #thirdchildprobs but we've since gotten a gate) and E just got little Legos that even a 2.5 yr old doesn't need to have their hands on. In the girls' room there is a box for stuffed animals - because they NEED them for tea parties, a box for Legos and all kitchen items belong in the kitchen - either in the frig, dishwasher or oven. Yes their room can get torn apart in a heartbeat and E and R might come out screaming they've stepped on a Lego and their foot hurts BUT it is an improvement for my sanity.

Their kitchen used to line that wall with 2 pieces on one side of the case thing - whatever that fancy word is for the holder of all the dishes you'd use if you didn't have kids - and one right by the kids table. It was a tight squeeze

I hate that I even stress about such meaningless things like cleaning up toys but all I can say is I'm working on it : )

PS - For the sake of fairness and comparison here was the view from my office in December...

Yeah it was bad. Does that stress me out? Yep it does but I can turn off the light when I leave and not think about it- whereas the toys and clutter at home really makes me consider how cluttered our/my life is. Makes me think how stuff of such little value takes up my time when I really could and should focus my head and heart on things that matter.

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