Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Postcards from toddler-dom!

So lately, what with having a fourth child and everything, it seems like all I do all day is take care of children. And yes, I'm a stay at home mom, its what I do essentially. But when I mean ALL I do all day is take care of children I mean ALL I do all day is take care of children.

Theres a constant din in the background. I have to sometimes force myself to take a timeout from discipling everyone else! When I'm not breaking up fights I'm answering to the myriad demands of 3 tiny very demanding people. When they're not fighting or demanding they're eating....usually food I provide for them and have to cook. And when they're not eating they're asking me questions. Like "But what does Belle say to the Beast when he stops being a Beast?" or "Where does the sun live?" or "Why do I have to go to the corner for hitting Dom with a toy hockey stick?" Oh, and when all that isn't going on and sometimes at the same time, they're all creating individual works of vague mess.

Sometimes in the midst of all this toddler-ness that "To whom much is given, much will be required" quote hits me. And then I think, "Damn right!" or "Hells to the yes" or "True dat". Most days its asked of me constantly, times four little mouths. Don't you just hate when quotes from the Gospel up and hit you in the middle of your real life?

All this is to be expected when you have three toddlers so close in age- all the fighting, questions, noise, mess, repeating, teaching, cuddling, nurturing, that is. Clearly if it was easy to have multiple children close in age everyone these days would be doing it. But its just not.

I am deep in toddlerhood. So deep I can't imagine what the other side must be like. So deep I can barely imagine popping out the other side!

But hopefully if we keep on slogging through we'll make it. Right?? 

"To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others."
-Blessed John Paul II

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Dresses

Just had to share these adorable dresses and skirts from Anne M Cramer.
Don't they feel spring-y and lovely?
I could easily be very happy sipping tea in any of these three...or all!

As seen on The Daily Spark

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sucked back into Flannery O'Connor

Partly because I've been on the fence about what kind of novel to read next, and partly because I lack both time and attention span, I started re-reading Flannery O'Connor's short stories. I thought I'd just give myself a refresher on my favs but pretty soon I was totally sucked in and reading some stories I've never read before.

Its incredible how great her writing is that by somehow swirling these bizarre characters with brutal incidents beautiful profound tales emerge. My favourite part in reading anything she writes is the feeling of not knowing whats going on in the beginning of the story and being blown away by the time I read the last sentence! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Well Ash Wednesday has snuck up on me again. At least this year I have the excuse of having a small infant, but usually I let this beautifully sacrificial time go by the wayside. Its not that I don't have the good intentions to give things up, its the follow-through and the prayer that should go with it that seems lacking most years. 

Somewhere along the line I've heard the great advice that each Lent you should both give something up and add something. Add something like a new devotional, new prayers, readings etc. Good holy stuff in other words. This idea is great for those of us who let our daily prayers slip, or need something new to jazz up the old prayer life.

So this year I'm a bit stumped. I'm thinking of maybe a daily Chaplet. I think a commitment to a daily Rosary might crash and burn, getting up early for silent meditation is laughably impossible right now, and I'm just not feeling the pull to anything else. 

Anybody got any great ideas for a mom with too many young children and not enough time? What are your great intentions this Holy Lent?

Have a Blessed Day of Fasting and Abstinence!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some baptizing going on...

We've got a new little sanctified soul in the house! Max was baptized these past weekend so we were all pretty excited. Its so nice to know you've done your part as a parent and got your kid into the Church, whew! 

Every baptism brings to life the crazy awesomeness of this sacrament to me. Its really incomprehensible to us, but the whole biblical background, and of course, Christ's words on the power of baptism really blows me away.
All your sins are forgiven. Period.


Max was perfect by the way. I have no idea how pouring water over his head doesn't wake him up but me moving an arm in the middle of the night does, but it made for a quiet Mass. And then there was cake and a party.  

Heres a crazy picture of us and the lovely godparents.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James

It's with a heavy heart I write this little review.

Because of my great love of both PD James and all things Jane Austen it is sad to put into words what a disappointment Death Comes to Pemberley was to read. I grant you my expectations were pretty darn high. PD James is my fav contemporary mystery writer, who usually has beautifully thought out plots, character development, and spot-on prose. The characters of Pride and Prejudice are, well, perfect as we all know. So the combination of the two should have resulted in some awesome drawing room mystery involving our favorite characters in a carefully thought out dramatic murder mystery. How hard can that be to write?

Unfortunately this novel is not up to par with PD James' repertoire of great mysteries. The most glaring fault of the book is its incredibly slow pace. Usually James' books build to a climax. The tension and plot discoveries of the mystery usually have a riveting pace that keeps you guessing, you know, the fun part of murder mysteries. But Pemberley isn't a very exciting place in this novel. The crime occurs in the beginning of the novel and the sequence of events is repeated ad nauseum, but without new insights as to who the real killer is. No new excitement is offered and it seems painstaking to have the same events repeatedly told to different characters, an inquiry, and finally a trial. I kept thinking there would be an exciting twist, a second crime, Darcy revealing the true killer, but was continually disappointed.

James also breaks a golden rule of mystery writing and brings in a totally undeveloped and unrelated character as the real killer of the story. I found this baffling as James has never stooped to such a position in all her other mysteries. This not only left me disappointed but downright angry. How could the author take the easy way out that way? And to not involve any original Austen character as the real killer??

Another deficiency of the book was the sparse showing of Elizabeth's and Darcy's relationship. The two are hardly in the same room throughout the story, and the times of actual conversation is almost rationed. It seemed such a shame to have the world of Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage so poorly employed in the story.

I feel as if there were such big problems with this book that the discussion of how PD James handles Austen's characters is irrelevant, however, I liked the way James dealt with the characters. They felt instantly familiar and there was nothing glaringly contradictory to Austen. It just made the disappointment all the greater that this book missed the opportunity of making a really great mystery using such beloved characters!

Anyone else read it yet?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lots of love

via purlbee

Hope everyone has a wonderful lovey day!

My little valentines woke up to special treat, and we may bake some special cookies later on.
For me and my beloved we'll be eating some chocolate together and maybe putting the kids to bed early?? 

Thats a hot date!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another check-out line story

Friday we decided to actually get our poor children out of the house and visit civilization and the swimming pool. Its about an hour drive away which takes a bit of steam out of the kids to begin with, and while my brave husband took the three toddles swimming (he's a pro daddy) I hit wal-mart with the baby.

I think its been over a year since I've shopped at wal-mart. Just for some full disclosure. And to show that I'm not a horrible person. But sometimes when you're hauling around a baby less shopping stops is a necessity!

I did fairly well shopping, I did the groceries, various household necessities, and diapers within half an hourish. But I ended up with nearly a full cart and tried to find the shortest/fastest checkout line.

Of course as soon as we stop at the check-out Max wakes up and realizes he's starving to death. Cue old grumpy lady pulling up behind me. Its another 5 minutes until I can actually start putting my groceries on the little conveyor thingy and I've been trying to bounce, roll, rock, and get Max to take a soother the whole time. I'm now loading groceries and bouncing, rolling and rocking at the same time. Here's when the old lady chimes in "I think he's hungry." Gee, ya think?!

At this point I want to be really sassy and say something like "Wow, thanks for that motherly wisdom, I never would have figured out that continuous crying meant he was hungry" or "Here let me just whip out a boob and load these groceries at the same time!" But I didn't. I pushed out a slight smile and agreed.

This is an uncommon experience since I've had a tiny bitsy baby for most of the past 4 years. I'm used to kids behaving pretty crumby while grocery shopping, and sometimes babies just are going to cry but you've gotta live life. I have also decided to not feel bad if my baby is crying in situations like this. Its what babies do, and I'm not apologizing. He's going to be tended to as soon as possible, but I also need to get these groceries, and trust me I've tried to do this in the fastest, best possible way according to this kids feeding schedule! So would it be too much to ask for a little help from the old lady behind me? Maybe a helpful word of encouragement? Man, I'd just take a sympathetic/pitiful smile!

Sometimes I just don't understand why people have to be so mean/discouraging. It must be tiring.

I left the awful wal-mart praying that if and when I ever don't have babies of my own that God will never let me forget what having little babies is like and to give me the grace to actually help that poor mom ahead of me, to say something encouraging, and maybe throw in a smile!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hey Look! I've got a new look!

I've finally got a new look for this little blog! I think its so pretty and I've got the wonderful Reni of Bliss and Tell Branding Company to thank for it! Reni had lots of patience for me and my total lack of design/blog knowledge. 

I found Reni from winning a blog giveaway at Ashley's fun blog The Handmade Home. I'm never this lucky! But it was a great giveaway to win, and I'm so happy with my new design!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

G.K. for the day!

"What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world." 
~GKC: 'Autobiography.'

Monday, February 6, 2012

Snow in Rome

It snowed in Rome this weekend! Aren't these pictures unbelievable? Its hard for me to imagine that there could be snow in Rome but heres the proof. It would be romantic beyond belief to walk through the streets of Rome and St. Peter's Square with snowflakes falling!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Seven Quick Takes-Baby edition!


Max is 5 weeks old now! How'd that happen so fast??
Its amazing how you can survive with such small amounts of sleep isn't it? You'd think 5 weeks of bad sleeping would have a dramatic effect but other than looking like I get no sleep, having baby brain most of the time, and being exhausted by 9 pm I think I'm doing pretty well!


Its shocking how much I forget about newborns. But one of my favorite things about teeny babies is snuggling their tiny curled up bodies and feeling their little breaths against my skin. Their breath is so sweet and gentle. Its magical really.


I remember when I had my first baby and being completely blown away by how much work babies were. The sheer amount of time they consumed just in trying to keep them fed, clothed, and relatively happy seemed immeasurable. 

Now however, I'm pretty sure the newborn requires the least amount of work out of my 4 children.
Newborns do need you for sustenance, and of course changing of diapers, and sure they'll cry for a certain amount of time each day, but they also sleep a good chunk out of the day, don't move unless you move them, and haven't the capacity quite yet of asking you for questions every 4.3 seconds. All major pluses in my line of work right now.

Have I mentioned lately that my other three children while all under the age of 5 have an endless stream of questions and wants that I'm the number one go-to person for? They also have the ability to get into fights every 4.5 seconds and need food quite alot. Oh, and can't dress themselves, still require me for 100% of their food, and need me for most bathroom related issues. 

See. Newborns are easy.


So in the last couple of days its hit me that I've gone a good month or so with little or no silence. The good quality type silence that most people need to retain sanity. Just the hanging out by yourself, thinking, praying, reading, etc silence. 
Of course the baby really has no off-hours and can start crying at anytime, the other kids multiply their waking hour noise to the max, and the rest of the time is eaten up trying to maintain some form of communication with the husband. 

Getting up earlier isn't an option. Duh. I can't seem to find any time when all the babies are sleeping at the same time, and once the hubby is home from work there seems to be so much going on. So I just don't know where I'm going to find a little time. I just want to state that I recognize it as a problem, a problem that will eventually end in me having a fairly large breakdown complete with tears at some near point.


I like chocolate on a good day. I love chocolate on a bad day. But when I'm breastfeeding I swear its all I want to eat. I think I could go the whole day looking for chocolate and not be satisfied no matter how much I ate. Its weird. But it must make for some good tasting breastmilk!


Something that just makes me smile is looking at these baby pants. Actually any baby pants. Aren't they ridiculous? I love them for the ridiculous proportions. Don't grow out of these crazy pants baby!


I also love how everybody loves the baby. The other babes can't get enough of him. When I'm losing patience and telling them all to stop touching me while I'm trying to feed the baby (which happens all the time!) I occasionally get blown away by how sweet and loving they are to him. Usually a little face lights up and they give a sweet hug, kiss or touch. Thats magical too.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody. Thanks to Jen for hosting, and go visit Hallie this week!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Breaking Bread News!

My ball of dough!

And my finished product.

Omigoodness, could my pictures be anymore ghetto?

So let me just start off by saying I suck at making bread. The whole kneading, spooky yeast workings, rising for indefinite periods of time, all of it. I'm terrible! Its just one of my fatal flaws I guess. That why I was both excited and skeptical about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

This is my first batch and I think I followed the recipe as closely as I could. Making the dough was a cinch, I've left it in the fridge and baked with a stone. I've got to say I'm pretty happy with it so far. The bread tastes delish, and the crust is really fabulous for putting absolutely no work into kneading or rising anything! 

Basically it could be bread for bread making dummies! I think I've got some more tweaking to do with my flour, oven temp, and obviously dough shaping. I think I can make prettier loaves once I get the hang of "slashing" the loaf like the book teaches. I love slashing stuff! This should come naturally. But I am pretty impressed with the recipe coming out as anything close to bread with me and my skills!


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