Thursday, February 28, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Just linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter today with some random captures.


I love tulips. Love. Looovee.

If I could I'd have them in my house every day of the year. So this being the beginning of cheap grocery store tulip season, I should be throwing a small party or something. Fresh flowers are never a regretful buy!

Bonus-my coffee grinder, you're welcome.


I'm not sure if this should qualify in my "happy" category because I'm only a little past halfway done my little baby's baby blanket and I've been working on it since November. So chances are good this baby is going to be born way before I finish. I tried to go with a gender neutral colour, but it looks more turquoise in reality. I think the pattern is quite pretty and the yarn is beautifully soft, but it is a deceptively time consuming pattern! I putter away at it while sitting with the hubby at night while he watches hockey. He complains I'm not giving him undivided attention, I complain about watching too much hockey, it really brings out the romance.


I caught Max mid belly laugh the other night. I love that baby belly laugh where they seem to laugh with their whole body. He was finding some sound absolutely hilarious. He's adorable. Its hard to get mad at him when he has a face like this, even though he seems to work full time as a "screech owl". 

I'm linking this with Cari because this most definitely looks like happiness and joy to me! 


Still can't really talk about this. 
I'm feeling lonely and sad. While watching the coverage this morning I just wondered what Pope Benedict must be thinking. Is it relief? Or is it extreme trust to leave something so big, so immense? I don't think we'll understand the gravity and importance of what he is doing for a long time. And at the same time I'm sure the fruits of his sacrifice and prayer will be huge. God works in amazing ways.

We're heading to Mass here at noon which will be 8:00 pm Roma time. I think it'll be the best thing to be doing at such an important time. Praying for the Holy Father, for our Church, for our future Pope! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Happenings

Today's off to a bangin' start! 

I was hoping to get into the big city today because my mom could watch the kids and it'd be wise to see my midwife and have a good time at the Costco to begin stockpiling preparations for the incoming bambino, but lo and behold Dom threw up around 9:30. So I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be going anywhere today, mostly because the deluge of vomit may be a-comin! Such a pleasant thought.

Max was also at his peak screeching volume this morning and I was more than happy to put him down for a life-saving nap before 10 am. 

I'm starting to obsess that my little in-utero baby is pointing in the wrong direction. There is just way too much kicking/punching in the opposite direction than there should be. Or else maybe this child is going to be some kind of boxing prodigy. I can't do a breech birth naturally. I can barely do birth naturally when I know everything is perfect. I can barely do the idea of birth who am I kidding!? Anyway- more crazy for cray-cray me!!

I've officially cleared all of Thursday to be an emotional mess. I still can't really imagine dear Pope Benedict stepping down. I think I need to be emotional for a good day at least to get all my feelings out of my system. I'm also going to go into full geek mode over this conclave. Seriously, I'm capable of limitless Catholic geek-ness. 

I'm not sure whether to attribute my restlessness/scatter-brain-ness to this unending February or the third trimester. But I just can't stop going from one thing to the next thing all while not accomplishing much at all. But going from one thing to the next thing veerrry slowly because I'm waddling, and it feels like it takes me triple the time it used to take me to do anything. 

I think I moved the fastest I have in months yesterday when I saw Max hanging off of the kitchen table. He had somehow cantilevered himself on his stomach while trying to find a chair to get down from the kitchen table but there was no chair. It was kinda hilarious and I really wanted to take a picture but thought that probably wouldn't be the best mom choice since at any second he could just let go and eminently smash his poor head open. Somehow I saved him using my spider-man like reflexes. Which haven't been used in eons. Minor big deal...

Ok, I'm off to dose people with Pepto-Bismol and cover my furniture with lysol and worry about things out of my control...livin' the dream people!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol.34

Joining Jen as usual-eternally pregnant women unite!


Has anyone else been reading those papabile articles by John Allen? They're pretty interesting, as in most Cardinals have pretty amazing stories as to what they've done in the their lives and great varying experiences. But then at the end of the article Allen succinctly sums up why the cardinal in question wouldn't be garnering votes, you know- too lefty, too righty, too Jesuity, too smarty. (I've been reading a lot of Dr. Suess this week ok?!) And then after you read the faults against the Cardinal your reaction is "Psshha the guy hasn't got a chance of a vote!" I think that feeling comes from our my presumption that you have to be perfect to become a pope, or a saint, or someone holy. I believe Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were extremely holy popes, but even they had flaws and I'm sure the flaws they had before they became pope were even more well known. No one's perfect unfortunately. I think we'd all feel better about an election if there was a perfect candidate out there with a red cap.


On that note how ridiculously hard would it be to be a Cardinal right now?! Wouldn't the pressure seem intense?? How do you weigh the faults of one guy against the other? The good works and abilities of one against someone who has completely different abilities and talents? It just seems to be further evidence that the Holy Spirit has to be at work in that whole thing. Although this article that talked about Pope Benedict not thinking the Holy Spirit was directly involved definitely made me think "Oh great, we're all screwed!" But only for a small amount of time I promise-I've got a lot of faith in the Holy Spirit, and the eternal nature of the Papacy, and prayers...


I haven't talked much about Lent because I'm not doing anything. I didn't take on any extra prayers or works, I didn't even think about giving anything up. I talked to my spiritual director before Lent began and just said flat out I can't handle anything else. I'm a wimp. I've been doing a horrible job just with my third trimester sacrifices as it is. So he told me that sometime life asks a lot of us and that we should just be focusing on what we're called to do in the moment. And accepting what God is asking of us. All of which I've been stinking at lately. I was doing pretty good until about yesterday, and I spent the whole morning in an awful mood crying about everything. 


Max is going through this high-pitched screaming stage where he screams whenever he wants something, or whenever he's hungry (which is pretty much all the time since he has the metabolism of a large horse), or whenever he wants me (which is also all. the. time.). It is really hard for me to not scream at him. Hoping this stage magically passes in the night. 


As usual Jen always writes what I think much better than I can even talk about those things. If you haven't read this article about reasons not to say you're done having kids go right now. Whenever I hear someone say that whether they're Catholic or not I get a sad sinking feeling inside me. I mean even though I'm about the farthest away from being even close to controlling/postponing/grappling with my own super-fertility if I had the superpower to magically control my super fertility, to easily say "I'm done", I think I'd still always have a deep hardness within my heart. Its as if being completely closed to life kills something within the heart. I'm fumbling with words here, but thats a quick idea. 


I've been really anxious the last couple weeks. Anxious mostly about the birth and labour and pain and health of my child and what will be happening to the other kids and how long will it take me to recover and will we make it to the city, etc etc etc. I don't usually struggle with anxiety. But in every pregnancy I have a lot of anxiety regarding birth, so much so that its hard for me to even picture the baby at the end of it. I feel like there must be something a little wrong with me because it seems every other mother is able to clearly picture getting past the pain to the baby on the other side and seeing the birth as a blip along the way, while I seem to have irrational fears about everything about it. My births haven't been traumatic even-I really don't have much to base these fears and anxieties on. I've even not been in control to the degree I'd like to be since my first birth which was at home, since then I haven't been able to be where I wanted to be yet everything still worked out. My only medical concern is my extreme after birth pains that this time I'm combatting with a serious painkiller to avoid 40+ hours of contractions AFTER the baby is born. So everythings under control. But I still seem to spend most of my day praying through anxiety. Hormones much??


This. All week.

And this forever pregnancy is only coming a close second to this forever winter. It was bitterly cold, grey, snowy, and windy this whole week. I don't want to be a Canadian who complains about winter, because that is truly the most annoying human trait conceivable, but the continual grey is starting to get to me. I honestly can't imagine spring at this point. Like I honestly can't imagine being NOT pregnant. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Glasses

In the category of non-headline news this morning-my new glasses! 

Its official. My blog ship has come in. Getting offered a pair of free glasses pretty much blows away any expectations I had of this little hobby. I love glasses, seriously, I would gladly go all Elton John and sport a new pair every day if I could! has a ton of selection and it was really hard for me to decide, but eventually I went with this rectangular burgundy pair operating under the fashion theory that I needed a little more colour to balance out my tortoise shell pair that I've been sporting for almost a year. 

Lets all agree that these pictures are much too much of my face. 

I don't mind taking a risk buying glasses off the internet, I'm usually confident in what looks good on me, mostly because I've been wearing glasses since I was 6, but Firmoo does have a handy First Pair Free program which should help all you indecisive glasses lovers. Glasses are too much fun to not take a risk with-especially with a free pair! And Firmoo is also one of the only glasses websites that offers free shipping to Canada which has to be some kinda miracle for us Canadians! 

Anyway-thats my two cents worth of glasses advice, I love glasses, the end.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In case you need some unsolicited free advice...

I'm over at Beth's blog, A Day in the Life of a Roz, today doling out free advice regarding those little newborn creatures and first time mommy-hood. 

Don't die from suspense-go see my wacky ideas and say hi to Beth!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Newborn Life and Why You Should Read Wise Mom Blogs

We all know that I've been living in a fairly continuous season of babies. My oldest daughter is five, eighteen months later we welcomed her first little brother, then only eleven months after that another son, and then twenty six months after that another little boy wonder. Now I'm about a month away from entering the wonderfully strange and unusual land of newborn-ness for the fifth time, this time about 15 months after my last foray. Very tight spacing! But along with this tight spacing comes not only the unneeded remarks from strangers, relatives, or anyone who feels the need to toss in their ten cents worth of opinion, on the busyness or closeness in age of my children, but a more and more casual attitude towards the new wonder of a new child and all that comes along with it. I feel like I'm still unable to articulate this phenomenon somehow, but it does boil down to a casual nonchalance over the impact a new child has upon a mother and a family.

It seemed with every successive one of my pregnancies that people viewed the birth and general upheaval of a new baby as something more commonplace, or no big deal, simply because we had experienced one in the not so distant past. Even closer relatives seemed to dismiss the importance of such a life changing experience. I'm not sure why I felt this impression from others. I'm not the most sensitive person in the world, and I've mostly gotten over any worry about what other people think, but somehow in the back of my mind I was always unsettled as to why I found birth, newborns, and all the changes that accompanies them so immense, so important, so much bigger than everyone else seemed to view them. Maybe its just human nature not to get too excited over the same thing happening to the same people time and time again? Maybe our culture has so devalued life that newborns and all their newness simply don't register in any scale of importance, and if they do only for the first child? Maybe I'd simply had a couple of rough experiences with postpartum in general that I was a little too sensitive to the effects of a new child?

Regardless of where this attitude of casualness instead of wonder comes from I've always felt it without being able to put my finger on the idea of it exactly. It was just a vague gut feeling I had but didn't know quite how to voice. But the other day I read this lovely post by Sarah from Clover Lane and her words expressed perfectly this idea I've been feeling for years:

"I feel sometimes like there is a message out in our society today to "get back to life" as quickly as possible after our babies are born.  Back to our old selves, back into shape, back to work, back to our old routines-just keep life going like a truly amazing miracle didn't just land into our lives.  To go on and appear as if nothing ever happened-this makes me mad that this is applauded and praised today-it's truly ridiculous, but very sad also.  It's an indication of a deep chasm in the most important bond of mother and baby.  

I think babies deserve to rock the world of those around them a little.  To stir things up, to make us rethink priorities, to bond-totally and completely giving ourselves to them when they need it most.  Even if that means little things like fat pants for awhile, or a makeup drawer that goes untouched for months, or big things like lots of "no's" to invitations and commitments, or everything that once seemed so important plummeting down that priority list and maybe even disappearing.  Of course we can rebuild slowly-on the baby's timeline-but things shouldn't look the same ever.  We all need to move over and make space for this precious new life we brought into the world.  Babies deserve it, and we moms do also."

As soon as I read her words I felt instantly validated in my previous feeling regarding babies.  I thought-finally this is exactly what I've been thinking and I thought I was just crazy! Its so wonderful to read truth and feel the reverberations of it in your own thinking. Its also an added bonus when you read these words from experienced mothers. Hence why I think listening to experienced mom's wisdom be it online or offline is so important and necessary for us moms of young children. 

Motherly wisdom comes from years and years of practice. And usually lots of children. I know when I look for real advice I can trust aside from fads and fancies that lots of moms get carried away with I ask my mom, and sometimes my friends' moms. They've been through the ringer with multiple children and have realized the truth of most of these tough parenting secrets that most younger moms claim to have the answers to but usually have only one itsy bitsy kid under their belt. Even though I've got four kids I really think  my knowledge applies pretty much only to some useful attitudes towards toddlerhood and babyhood. An expansive knowledge of mothering can only come from a wider experience of ages, development, and unique personalities. 

So yet again I'm so happy that there are beautiful, experienced mothers with blogs who write about timeless truths. I'm sure most of you have realized this a long time ago and I'm slow to jump on board! It really does help new and young mothers build confidence in the real and often times difficult vocation of motherhood. 

And heres some of my favourite blogs that you should be reading if you aren't already: Clover Lane, Like Mother, Like Daughter, In the Heart of My Home, Testosterhome.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday or more accurately some baby first steps

I think What I Wore Sunday is one of the few motivating factors that make me put in even a small amount of effort into my wardrobe these days so here's my non-exciting entry for this week!

As usual we went to our only Mass of the weekend Saturday night so forgive my terrible lighting! My little cling-on decided to photo bomb these pics by whipping out his little used new skill of walking! This is exciting stuff my friends, we try to coax a few steps out of him and he'll adamantly refuse, until for some strange reason a mood will strike and he'll just walk around like he's been walking for months or something! This was one of those rare moments...which come to think about it was pretty handy since we already had the camera ready.

See my sheer amazement?! Also my really frizzy hair? I'm going to blame it on pregnancy but its really been a lifelong chronic condition.

I finally broke down and bought some maternity skinny jeans from Gap which I don't regret at all because I'll probably wear them even more postpartum because I'm lazy. And this is a maternity top from Old Navy, I kinda wish I bought it in the pattern it came in now, but the pockets are pretty fun. This is exactly the kind of top I tend to hold off for the longest possible time because it just makes me look tenty-pregnant...does that make sense? I think its because I'm so short that these long, dress-like tops just don't work on me. But such is being eight months pregnant right? 

Oh! I can't forget that I actually got to wear wedges today because we were experiencing balmy positive single digit temperatures! I was probably risking my poor unborn child in navigating snow and ice from the car to the church...but it felt like a great change of pace from boots! I admit it. 

Make sure to go visit the way more fashionable ladies at Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol. 33

Adding my very quick takes to the great bloggers over at Jen's today!


Well, we had a fun Valentine's yesterday. Everyone was thrilled at the prospect of chocolates and pink hearts! Max is a sneaky one and managed to steal a couple Hershey Kisses from the big kids when they weren't looking, then he'd be smirking in a corner with a full mouth of chocolate. My mom got everyone a little stuffed animal and Gemma's turned out to be this tiny ridiculous looking pink toy poodle which she promptly named "Strudel the Poodle" and attached a leash to its little neck. She's been begging her daddy for an "inside" puppy and she thinks this guy is a pretty good substitute. Good luck Strudel.


The weather was so bad here on Wednesday I couldn't get to Mass. It was pretty much a full blown blizzard with terrible winds, and lots of snow, and my husband thought a pregnant woman with four babies in the back seat wasn't a recipe for driving success apparently. This winter feels like forever and it's had so many storms, or at least dangerous road conditions, that I feel I've missed every chance I've had to get to daily Mass. It makes me want to move to civilization and to within walking distance to Church. 


I just finished Quiet by Susan Cain this week. I find personality fascinating and this book does not fail to deliver interesting facts previously unexplored when it comes to understanding our personalities. I'm definitely not a classic introvert but I do have introvert tendencies you could say, and I'm married to an introvert, plus I'm sure I've got some introvert kids...or at least we'll see, so the whole book applies in a lot of different ways. I do think that because of the popularity of this book that there are going to be a whole swack of people instantly begin to identify themselves as "highly sensitive" which already annoys me. But I digress!
The point I picked up on the most from the book, however, is how there is such a history of the institutional school system crushing little introverted kids. Pretty much for the last hundred years the institutional school system has been completely orientated towards making children learn in specific ways and crushing the unique learning styles and confidence of introverted children. Its a good perspective that a lot of homeschooling parents will immediately pick up on. Just more evidence that a more personalized attitude towards childhood learning is needed. 


Ok, my cooler, hipper friends who actually see movies-who's seen Silver Linings Playbook and who thought it was worth sitting through?? I want to see it, for reasons I don't really understand myself, but as soon as my husband read the synopsis he immediately declared it a waste of his time. But he says that about most things I want to watch so we really can't take his word for it can we? 


I don't know if anyone's still looking for Lenten reading material but it only seems appropriate that some Benedict XVI should be on the menu. I've read both Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to The Resurrection and Journey to Easter in past Lents and they are really good at focusing our attention on the importance of Jesus and the mysteries of Easter. They're much more approachable than most people think as well, really worth a try!


I'm bringing up yet another book here-it really just speaks to my complete lack of energy so I've been reading like a fiend-but I picked up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks this week and really had no clue what it was about even though this book has been around for a couple years now. Its a really unbelievable story of how the cancerous cells of one woman changed science and medicine completely starting in the 1950's. But so many moral and ethical tragedies happen in the development of this science that it really just proves that the Catholic Church's stance on human life has always been correct. I'm both really interested in how the story continues and hesitant because I find it all pretty freaky. I'll let you know.


And glory hallelujah the Max has started to take a couple more steps by himself this week. I'm really crossing my fingers that I won't have to lug around two immobile babies in about a month but we'll see. I'm trying to not be pushy and/or make a huge deal about it when he does walk so I don't reverse psychology him somehow. He's also figured out that life changing strategy of pushing chairs around the house and climbing to where ever you're not allowed to go. Its so much fun am I right? Really, this age is kinda a lot of fun if you ignore all the mess they get into. They get so excited about crazy things and have so much fun figuring new things out for themselves. And he's so dang cute. 

Happy Weekend everybody-its a long weekend here but its supposed to - wait for it - snow and be cold the entire time!! Hurray! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A little Valentine, dare I say, CRAFT?!

We all know you're not coming to this blog for fabulous crafts, and I'm ok with that. I have a very low aptitude for crafts of most sorts...don't get me started on my tragic sewing skills...but I can crochet thanks to a ridiculously talented Granny who taught me at age 5! 

And since Ana is having a lovely link-up I dug deep and came up with this little contribution: a crocheted heart garland for Valentine's Day.

The lighting became so bad and I just didn't have the time to figure out how to make this look good!

A couple of years ago I thought it might be a quick idea to whip up these hearts and make an Etsy-esque garland. It didn't take me long, I had some red yarn from something left over, I found a quick tutorial on the inter webs similar to this one and I just single crocheted a nice chain and slip stitched twice in each heart to connect them all. It was super quick and I've been happy that I can throw this up and have instant Valentine decoration every year. 

I'll admit right now that I kinda like Valentine's Day. Not so much for the mushy, romantic, cheesy-ness, but more for the sheer fun of it and the chocolate, and for an excuse to buy/decorate with a lot of pink and red! Valentine's has also become way more fun since the kids are getting a little bigger because the kids really seem to think its a big exciting deal! A couple heart window clings, some heart candies, a couple of paper valentines and everyone has a great time! 

It is kinda a drag that Valentine's falls within Lent this year. I really want to make a giant chocolate cheesecake...and I still might because well...I'm pregnant and everything, that's like a dispensation when it comes to cheesecake in Lent right?? 

I think its ok to have a little fun in Lent, especially when it comes in pink, to take a little break from the sackcloth and ashes. Or at the very least it encourages a little more childlike celebration in the middle of a still snowy February. Toddlers seem to inspire a frivolous sense of celebration that you've just gotta roll with it. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love and Prayers for Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict and his brother-because I think they're the cutest.

I couldn't believe the news this morning. Shocking doesn't really cover it, its hard to be prepared for something that hasn't happened in 400 years. Its uncharted territory not only for our generation, but for the Church in so many ways. Add to all this the fact that I'm a long way from emotionally stable being in a third trimester haze of hormones and I cried for a while before I got the kids up. 

Its unbelievably sad to lose such a leader. His work and the legacy of his papacy will be huge. His writings are so valuable to the faith. He's been instrumental in bringing about unity not only in the Christian faith but all faiths. He has guided a Church in crisis through to the other side of a place of renewed and increasing faith. I've been in love with his writing since I started to read him when he was a Cardinal, and he literally has daily breathtaking insights into the Faith and our life with God.

From the shock of the announcement to a deep sadness at losing someone you've come to depend upon even though you didn't know how much. Then to think of his sufferings as being so difficult he must resign his important role makes me feel even worse. I hate to think of him suffering so severely, so silently. And then an anxiety. A general anxiety about our Church and future. But an anxiety that I think speaks more to the dependence on the Church as a structure that I take for granted. We really do go about our lives while so many in our Church devout their lives to prayer and service for the good of all of us. The Pope being at the top of the list.

Its almost impossible to believe we'll have a new Pope by Easter. I remember when Pope John Paul II died and not believing at all that another pope could be a dynamic, faith-filled, or just plain loveable. Thank goodness I was wrong! The Papacy is such a miraculous institution that I'm more than confident we're in good hands for the future, even though we should all be praying like crazy for the upcoming Papal election! 

I'm also already tired of the conspiracy theorists and the media. To think that Pope Benedict did not pray intensely about this decision is beyond naive. He is holy and would never be cowed into resignation. I can only imagine his relationship with God, his insight into the Father's will, and it makes me completely sure that this decision is right not only for the Pope himself, but the Church and the will of God. There are so many graces of God at work! 

Those are my initial thoughts, to which many others have said it much better! I've spent my whole morning reading and thinking about this crazy news, I should probably start dealing with my mountains of dirty dishes and half-clothed children!

"This mission of Christ, this movement of his continues in space and time, over centuries and continents. It is a movement which starts with the Father and, in the power of the Spirit, goes forth to bring the good news to the poor, in both a material and a spiritual sense. The Church is the first and necessary instrument of this work of Christ because it is united to him as a body to its head."
-Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, February 8, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol. 32

Joining Jen and the more exciting takers this week!

I feel like I've been Debbie Downer around here so I'm going to try and amp up the superficial and fun with these takes.  

Since clothes shopping (even online!) greatly depresses me right now I've decided I need to go make-up shopping! If you've got a good make-up recommendations I'm totally up for them! I am always looking to add to my concealer collection since we all know no one really sleeps anymore right?? And I'm looking for good lipsticks so pass those ideas my way!


I've been on the hunt for new curtains/curtain panels for my living room for months now. I'm willing to spend money, but not $500 bones like my custom drape estimate came in at. I'm looking for pattern, something fun, not ugly, and preferably in the navy blue colour range because of my crazy orange walls. So far I like these ones from Anthro the bestest:

Now I'm just debating if I love them enough to drop the dinero and the extra $20 to get them shipped to Canada. Opinions anyone? Suggestions that don't involve sewing?


I really need to get over my sewing phobia. Its a phobia I swear. Or at least bordering on a mental disorder. For some reason I'm petrified of sewing. I've had limited experience with sewing in my youth in various homeschool co-ops and I was beyond a miserable failure. And I hate being bad at stuff so I've never tried again. If I would face my fear and be able to shop at a cute fabric store my home would be so much prettier!


My husband's going to a great Catholic men's conference this weekend. I've got to strongly encourage his introverted self in the direction of social activities but since he knows quite a few guys who will be there but never gets to see, I think it'll even be a little bit fun for him. Or at least it will be fun even if he doesn't admit it!  
I think its even harder for men in a way to get support in their faith as it can be such a drag bringing up religion or defending your religion constantly at work. At least us stay at home moms get to impose our religious views on everyone under us! Add to that our parish that has zero other under 40 regular Mass attendees and my poor husband probably barely remembers what its like for other guys to be Catholic sometimes!


I was just thinking yesterday how I have so much less energy this pregnancy as compared with my pregnancy with Max last year. And then I put together that it may be in part because I still lug my lazy baby around because he refuses to walk. Then I realized that when I was pregnant with Max it was the only time, other than with my first of course, that I wasn't lugging some non-walking, large-ish baby around as well as that extra "15" pounds on incubating baby. No wonder I had skads of excess energy that could be used on things such as exercise! 

That was useless trivia for you!


We could hear some kind of rodent in the attic right above our bedroom last weekend, so the husband put some small mouse traps in the frozen abyss that is the attic for a few nights. Last night he checked the traps and found a tiny, frozen, very dead vole in one of the spring traps. He was so impressed with the miniature size of the thing he was trying to show me while I was trying to be disgusted from the furthest possible distance. Then all of sudden goes to drop it in our kitchen trash can. I had to scream and stop him just in time from dropping a tiny dead rodent in my trash can. This shouldn't be something you should have to tell someone! 


I really gotta get moving. I've gotta pack up all the kids and drive the almost two hours to the city this afternoon for a very exciting midwife appointment followed by a very exciting appointment with my spiritual director. I feel like I've gotta confess to the midwife that I haven't been doing everything I'm supposed to like thinking positively and taking my vitamins everyday, and then tell my spiritual director  that my physical growth has been exceeding my spiritual growth of late. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone-I'm going to finally catch up on Minor Revisions tomorrow and the excitement is killing me!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


My mornings recently have been chaotic. I don't even know if chaotic is the right word. There really are not enough words in the English language to adequately describe life with toddlers. Every word I can think of either sounds too nightmarish or else not realistic enough to describe what's actually going on, theres a sweet spot of descriptive words that just don't exist.

First of all, there's no such thing as waking up before the kids are up. Without fail I can hear the three bambinos talking, then fighting, then yelling for no reason, then what I can only assume is playing a full court basketball game in their little 10 x 10 foot room! Max is usually up of course in his baby jail, but he's much more patient than everyone else and you can only hear questioning baby remarks most days as to why no one has gotten him free of baby jail.

As soon as the masses are released from their rooms (we've got baby locks on their bedroom doorknobs because we've got a mischievous one who we've found in various parts of the house in the middle of the night and who wouldn't think twice at destroying pretty much anything he could get his little hands on) they instantly are arguing and fighting over some random toy. Like random. As in no one has touched it in months but suddenly upon waking all three magically need to play with that one toy right now. I know of course that they're all collectively starving to death and have no impulse control, but in the meantime I've usually gottta change a baby diaper and make a bottle for the most helpless member of the household. If I can manage to get everyone to the table in fifteen minutes without having to subject multiple offenders to the corner for multiple offences its really a great day! I can usually con them with a fruit of some kind until their porridge is ready, and then I've usually got to put up a fight with someone over why they can't/won't/have to take forever just to eat breakfast.

After we make it through breakfast I swear I spend about the next hour dealing with everyones different and diverse potty issues. I'm simultaneously trying to make coffee for myself or even eat something, but its constantly being interrupted as usual by various disputes, clean-ups, requests for help, requests for paint, requests for candy and/or chocolate milk 5 minutes after finishing breakfast, and on some days discovering something in the process of being damaged beyond repair.

But this is just the action of the morning, you've really got to use your imagination as to the noise level four of them can create. I also have the loudest three year old ever. His default volume level is loud. Then the whining, layered over my five year old's constant questions, and the always fun stage of baby shrieks! But its really the constant discipline I feel I'm dishing out that feels so tiring. Sometimes before 9 I'm completely out of patience. I'm a yelling, barking, completely deranged crazy person by 11. It seems as if the day is completely ruined by my impatience and frustration at such an early point. Its just plain discouraging.

Granted, its the middle of winter. Its Canada. We haven't been out in months.

And I'm 7 months pregnant. I'm irritated by the smallest of things. I tire from standing up and getting out of bed. I'm tired of struggling and discipline in about 5 minutes.

But I've gotta admit that even with extenuating circumstances sometimes I can't help but think:

"What the hell?!"

"Maybe I am a giant chump for falling for this stay-at-home-mom nonsense?"

"Maybe all my beloved 'principles' of the importance of home and children growing up in a peaceful, loving, environment with their own family is a complete pipe dream?"

"My mothering track record seems to be one of endless correction by God of what I thought I would be as a mother and what my family would be like so maybe this is His way of saying I'm on the completely wrong track?"

"That homeschooling idea was made in a time of complete insanity."

"Maybe toddlers do need highly institutionalized daycares/preschools for the majority of their waking hours?"

"Maybe children do make you insane like everyone says?"

"People who work for minimum wage in retail get more polite responses for their efforts and way less poop to deal with!"

So I've definitely got some pretty outrageous trains of thought going through my head sometimes.

And this isn't my first rodeo, I know I shouldn't be making anything close to genuine judgements, let alone important decisions or choices, during the third trimester because I am a crazy, stressed-out, hormonally deranged, crazy person. (Crazy is listed twice for a reason!)

And when I think about possible solutions of what would make my life easier there really aren't a lot. Sure, I could get out more. But I'm really exhausted and hardly anything could outweigh the amount of work it takes to get kids and then myself out the door these days. Maybe a live-in nanny/slave? Would that make things easier or only a bit cleaner? Possibly some magical medication to make me less constantly cranky? Yeah...that would help...but probably wouldn't be too conducive to the poor Little Love who's all dependent on me on the inside!

There are just some plain old facts you can't get around. Like not having any children over the age of reason and being painfully outnumbered! I understand that I'm most definitely in the thick of survival stage, being seven months pregnant, and will be for at least the next 8 months. I don't really put a lot of expectations in being close to normally functioning till a newborn is 6 months old, but why does it feel so, so much longer than that right now?? I know intellectually that you come out the other end of survival stage, if only because I've experienced it for brief periods in the past 6 years, but it seems impossible to imagine right now.

I'm running extremely low on hope. I think sometimes its still difficult to accept/get my head around how intense my experience of motherhood is compared to most everyone else. It makes me tend to think how most people who have five kids have older kids who can feed/dress themselves, help out, don't need potty attention, etc etc. I feel I'd have a more rounded and mature view of tough times if I had experienced a little bit more time of relative calmness compared to going from one survival period to the next. I guess I'm just trying to make the conclusion that I know I don't have the wisdom and experience that good mothers have, and that in turn becomes a vicious circle and makes things a little harder. The other conclusion is that I think to a great degree these seasons of insane toddler/baby stress are simply difficult times one has to go through and somehow make it out the other side to see all that can come of it. A cross you've just got to bear. But if the cross also involves four people who are still the very best part of my day then I might make it after all.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol. 31

Joining the fellow pregnant for an eternity Jen this week for Quick Takes!

This week since even I am tired of hearing myself whine I'm just writing about random links-enjoy!


How awful is it that the second most exciting thing thats going to happen at the beginning of April is the start of Mad Men again, coming in just behind the birth of my child?? 
But in my house-bound state its the little things that keep you going. And if I'm going to be up all night nursing (oh joy) I might as well be watching something good! I really am excited. 


I really geek out over bookshelves. So much so that not just pictures of bookshelves are riveting but whole blog posts about organizing bookshelves thrill me. Here the amazing Jenny goes through her gorgeous way of organizing her equally gorgeous bookshelves. I kinda dream about it at night.


The Evangelista has the greatest post on buying jeans. I really loved it and whole-heartedly agree. If and when I can ever fit into one size for more than one month I have to buckle down, prepare the husband, and buy a really good pair of jeans! 


Mrs. Darwin posted this excellent link to this article about Jane Austen and moral philosophy. I really liked how the author notes Austen's attention to amiability as a virtue. To be amiable, or likeable and friendly to others, really is a virtue that was important then and is important now. Sometimes it feels as if no one believes that anymore.


If you haven't yet read Pope Benedict's Message for World Communications Day from last week its definitely worth a read. Actually is should be required reading before signing up for Facebook. And its short so you can do it! 
It really applies to anyone doing anything in any form of online communication. Sooo that makes everyone but my dad right? My favourite quotation,

"At times the gentle voice of reason can be overwhelmed by the din of excessive information and it fails to attract attention which is given instead to those who express themselves in a more persuasive manner. The social media thus need the commitment of all who are conscious of the value of dialogue, reasoned debate and logical argumentation; of people who strive to cultivate forms of discourse and expression which appeal to the noblest aspirations of those engaged in the communication process."

Or my translation: Stop being stupid on the internet!


Uh oh...I really thought I had something for number six...there was something I'm sure of it...what did I walk into this room to get again?? Who was doing something bad that I came in here to yell at?? 

Effects of preggo brain right here.


The Super Bowl's this weekend! I'm pretty torn who to cheer for because I like both teams and both Harbaughs. So its a toss up! But I think I'm going to end up routing for the Niners because we long ago took a trip to San Fran and saw our first NFL game at Candlestick. It was back in the days when they were terrible, but I've forever cheered for poor Alex Smith after I heard some of the awful things his own fans said about him that game. I'm still kinda choked he got pulled for this wunderkind Kaepernick. Ok. Way too much football talk!
Here's a great article on the Raven's Catholic centre Matt Birk. The Harbaugh's are also Catholic, so...yay! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys drinking during the Super Bowl...still pregnant and bitter over here about no pitchers of margaritas for me. I better go do whatever I just forgot I was going to do!


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