Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Advent is about waiting right?
I think I, like most everyone else, like to glance over this truth. Christmas always seems ridiculously busy as people try to cram in as much festive festivities as possible. It always feels rushed. We have a huge to-do list and don't worry so much about waiting as fitting things in and getting things done.
This year my advent is a little different. I should be waiting patiently not only for the Christ child but my own precious baby in the beginning of January. But not only am I fighting the pressure to rush around for Christmas but the added pressure to rush and prepare for this baby. All I feel is time flying by and the anxious feeling of being completely unprepared for both events all in a haze of preggo mind that can barely recall what I went into the other room to retrieve.
But I started thinking about this waiting stuff the other day. Advent calls us to wait. There must be a reason for that. In every aspect of our lives however, we don't see the need to wait. Just to use an example, it seems we always want to rush our children. They have to sit, walk, talk, as soon as possible. We need to put them in mini adult clothes without enjoying a little cuddly baby stage complete with baby gowns and sleepers. Pregnancy is rushed with scheduled c-sections and inductions. We can't stand waiting for anything that may be out of our control.
I know in the course of my day I get frustrated by what I call "toddler speed" numberless times. Sometimes how long it takes to get three small children in snow suits, mitts, hats, and boots takes such an excruciatingly long time I could scream. I get tired of waiting for them to finish a meal so I can clean up and move on. Even walking up stairs behind them can sometimes throw me into an impatient fit. But in not waiting I know I'm taking away the sense of accomplishment they get by putting on their own boots, or watching them enjoy with great zeal their very chocolatety cookie, or giving them an extra minute to get in the house from the car so they can look up at the moon and comment on how "prettiful" it is. I know these aren't life changing things to wait for but they are the little things in my day that I can start waiting for.
I'm also getting painfully slow at accomplishing my usual amount of "stuff" in a day due to my size and general lack of energy, but maybe its time to start slowing down and waiting a little more patiently for my baby and even find a little time to think about the coming of THE baby.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I love all these Advent Calendars! There are so many great ideas out there for creating a special one, and lots of great ideas of what to do and give in Advent Calendars.
I can't believe Advent is already here! Hopefully next year I'll be able to make a calendar for the kids, so far I'm moving so slowly lately I'll be lucky to decorate for Christmas by Christmas at this rate!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Its been a rough week. I've been potty training. And I hate potty training. But then I'm sure it'd take me years to find a mom who likes it. I've used the three-day potty training method for my older two before, and although it didn't quite take three days, I think its a better system to go all the way at the beginning and invest time for a couple days instead of dragging it out for weeks. The method says the most important things are love, consistency, and patience....all of which I've been an epic fail at this week. I just try to keep reminding myself that its only been a couple days, I somehow trained two already, and that this kid is ridiculously smart AND stubborn. I actually think potty training is number two on my list of greatest accomplishments, number one being, of course, natural childbirth.
So with this potty training business my wick of patience for toddlers has been woefully depleted. I've felt like a massive mom failure the last couple days. I should be reminding myself to go a little easier because I'm almost 8 months preggo and running around bending over a toddler isn't going to be as fast as when I'm not preggo. But I also have this constant ticking clock in the back of my mind marking off the few remaining days before this baby is born and everything will turn upside down for weeks/months and I will then definitely not have a chance to potty train. I'm a big ball of stress. I probably shouldn't be worrying about this at all, I'm sure tons of people would say that, but then again tons of people don't have 4 kids 4 and under! Touche!
I read Unbroken a couple weeks back and it was amazing! I'm really not the biggest fan of war stories, war movies, etc. etc. but this book was so well written and the story so absolutely unbelievable that I couldn't put it down. Its really a beautiful story of the power of hope, and how much our spiritual life can bring us through the most dire of situations. I really recommend it!
I just love this table from Lonny mag!
I think it may have something to do with the brass birds.
But everything is beautiful!!
And I have to say that I think its lovely we don't celebrate a ginormous holiday at the end of November in Canada. I love not having to worry about a huge holiday mere weeks before Christmas. I think Thanksgiving in October is perfect. Celebrate fall while its still fall out, eat a huge turkey yet still crave it come December, have a whole 10 weeks to shop for Christmas, the advantages are endless.
All that being said, I am pretty excited Advent is starting this weekend! I put off all the Christmas music and decorating at least till Advent is in full swing. Also; Dominic's birthday is this Sunday, and I think it'd be a nice tradition to keep up if we held back on the Christmas special-ness until the birthday special-ness is over. But I do love everything Christmas!
Our big weekend plans include celebrating Dom's 3rd birthday on Sunday. His favourite colour right now is yellow so he would like yellow balloons, a chocolate cake with yellow frosting, and a yellow ball. His exact words. We're also going to attempt taking the kids to the small town Christmas light-up tonight and making everyone say hi to Santa! Its always a good time to get some pics of children frightened out of their wits. And the beloved hubby is on-call this weekend so I'm hoping it'll be fairly quiet and he won't be gone alot, needless to say I am in need of help!
Hope everyone has a great first weekend of Advent, and long weekend to everyone Stateside! Go read the real Seven Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary!
I finished my little bambino blanket! Its crocheted and basically a pattern I made up based on this knitted version from The Purl Bee. I did use the same beautiful Blue Sky Cotton yarn which was super soft and nice to work with. Its definitely not perfect, but I like the colours a lot and maybe one day I'll knit something.
I've crocheted each of my babies a blanket while I was pregnant and so far each blanket has successfully predicted what the baby would be! I would always pick colours I was drawn to, purples and greens for Gemma, black, reds, and blues for Dom, and baby blues and yellows for Luke. So the crocheting is a pretty accurate boy/girl predictor! Hopefully my motherly instincts are spot on this time too, or else we'll hide this one and I'll make a little boy blankie quick!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Has anyone watched BBC's Sherlock series? Its a modern rendering of Sherlock Holmes taking place in modern day London. Sherlock texts, Watson blogs, basically its awesome.
I wasn't sure if it would work but this series captures the characters so well that you believe completely that it could and should be taking place in present time. The series perfectly captures the humour and wit that Sherlock has in his eccentric way, a trait that is sadly left out in most takes on Sherlock Holmes. The production is fantastic with everything feeling modern yet fanciful, urbane yet mysterious. And of course, the acting is perfection!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Well, I'm more than 7 months pregnant now and I'm starting to hit the wall.
Does anyone else have a pregnancy wall?? That point where you can't ignore your size, hormones, or the idea that you'll have to give birth in a matter of weeks no matter how hard you try?
My wall includes tons of anxiety over childbirth. I thought the more you went through it the easier childbirth would become. But I think I feel even more trepidation about it than even my first time. It becomes such a hurdle that I have a hard time picturing my actual baby because I'm so hung up on the actual labor, pain, delivery part. However, I know that this mentality does change once you enter your eighth month of pregnancy, by that point the desire to not be pregnant anymore and to be something close to comfortable has become so strong that childbirth just seems like a speed bump.
The pregnancy wall also includes the heightened sense of your rational mind and hormones blurring into one. Am I really that upset I forgot to buy chocolate at the grocery store or are my hormones looking for a convenient escape route? I'm freaking out at small things, and even my toddlers think I'm overreacting at the slightest thing.
I think this all boils down to driving myself crazy! I'm sure this can be a measured scientific effect. My own craziness makes me crazy. Its a vicious circle. And I'm not quite sure when I'll come out of it...I'm guessing around 6-9 months after this little bundle decides to pop out and sleep more than half an hour at a time? Until then I'll keep grasping for some semblance of normalcy!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I can't believe its taken me this long to discover Muriel Spark! How could I have gone a quarter of a century without finding such a completely unique, intelligent, humorous, and shockingly Catholic writer? Whatever the answer may be, she's become a quick favourite author and I've only read two books thus far.
About a month ago or so I picked up The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie because its a modern classic supposedly. And I didn't read it too seriously, and to be perfectly honest for about three quarters of the book I completely didn't get it. Yes the writing was dead-on, the characters expertly crafted, the humour simmering beneath the surface, but it is the last 25 pages of that novel that left me completely gob-smacked. I feel like I still need to let it sit with me in order to fully appreciate it. I'm still gob-smacked.
A Far Cry From Kensington was written over twenty years after The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and because I haven't read much Muriel Spark I wondered if maybe this novel would be written past her prime so to speak. Instead I found a quirky, funny novel that accomplishes what is so seldom found in much modern literature but which singularly makes a book great; the ability to create and expose the everyday into the great drama which it truly is.
Spark usually writes in the first person of one of her characters, and in this book it is the charming and honest Mrs. Hawkins. She is honest in describing herself as a plump woman, living in a boarding house in 1954 London, who works in publishing and who inspires the confidences of almost all those around her. She fiercely describes those she shares her home with, not with malice but with a concise honestly that brings to life great quirkiness and vulnerabilities. The dramas involving those in her boarding house and those she works with at first don't seem to mix, and it is so entertaining the reader hardly notices. The plot begins to thicken however, when a literary leech named Hector Bartlett slithers into Mrs. Hawkins circle of publishing. She immediately confronts him with her upright honestly and states to his face that he is a "pisseur de copie". She stands up for good writing and against the despicable practice of someone trying to get published simply by hanging onto the coattails of someone famous.
For Mrs. Hawkins this leads to losing her job multiple times. She faces this problem head on and refuses to budge from her principals. The great twist occurs when Hector Bartlett seems to infiltrate Mrs. Hawkins personal life by coming in contact with some of her fellow boarders. What happens next really boils down to the seemingly innocuous way good battles evil in everyday life. Of course I'm not doing this book any amount of justice, you've just got to read it, I promise you'll be surprised at how much you enjoyment this book brings!
Monday, November 14, 2011
How can a kid who looks this cute at the dining room table be such a handful to get to eat?
Oh. There are many ways let me tell you!
We've had an ongoing discipline trial for the last couple days and it doesn't seem to be getting through. He stubbornly refuses to eat anything if you ask him to eat. We stubbornly say he can't get down until he finishes his two bites. It took him an hour the other night to finish dinner.
I've almost reached the point where it can't be worth it. The problem with having three kids so close in age is that rules need to be applied universally or else they catch on in about two point three seconds. We'll see if this technique works, for now I'm trying to look at this cute face so that I can respond almost nicely to his constant demands to be released without touching any food at all!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
This is my favourite shot from this month's Matchbook Magazine. I want to be her! But really I must have those glasses, they're perfect! I just have to wait till 2012 to get new ones and hopefully they'll look just like this, and I'll look just like her-I'm also hunting for turquoise gloves!
I needed a nice pretty picture, I capitulated and went to the doctor yesterday so I'm trying to look on the brightside of starting to feel better in the next day or two.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
A beautiful Norweigian summer home from Design*Sponge.
I wish I felt like this room. Beautiful, clean, light.
Instead I've been suffering through a crazy intense sinus infection for which I can take no decent narcotic. Today I'm starting to get pretty grumpy about it, my sleep is starting to suffer in addition to being in intense pain if I move my head. Not cool.
My kids are going to enjoy extra tv today, I'm hoping to make it till the hubby gets home, wish me luck!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Yesterday I blissfully got into the city by myself for some medical appointments and I decided I needed to do some thrift shopping just because its been ages since I've made it to any stores. I love hitting thrift shops. You never know what you're going to find, and the thrill of the hunt never lets me down!
At my second stop I was dutifully checking through about 5 aisles of used books. Usually I'm after vintage hardcovers by authors I enjoy that I don't already own, the pickings yesterday were beyond slim. I was just going to walk away with one side of aisle left when I made myself stop and check through one more aisle. And look what I found at the corner of the bottom shelf smooshed between a million dreadful copies of The Da Vinci Code:
I think I let out a small shriek and threw it into my cart because I thought people would wrestle me for it! I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson for $3.99.
The most styled book in design ever.
I love everything about it!
Its a perfect condition 1940 first edition. It looks fabulous and old.
I'm even thinking I should read it! Has anyone ever read it?
Look at how awesome the photos are! Its really one of my greatest thrift finds ever.
I'm such a nerd.
Oh, and I may have a slight problem. I bought a whack load of brass birds. Can I blame this on pregnancy? Do I have a strange brass bird craving? Will they turn my house into a circa 1972 trailer like my husband says?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Today is the feast of All Saints!
I find these black and white photos of modern saints amazing. You've gotta love modern technology when it can capture such gripping images of such different and holy people. I'm wondering if some kind of gallery wall of sorts could be created with black and white photos of saints? There should at least be a kick-ass coffee table book made!
Hope we all spend today asking for some interceding through so many inspiring saints.