I received this GAP advertisement in the mail recently. Okay, now I can’t find it. But it had a model wearing almost exactly the same outfit Pat wore for an old post of mine. Apparently this look is called … Continue reading
A friend once asked me point blank, “Do you like being a mom?” I found myself at a loss for words. I love love my children more than life itself. They are a precious gift and raising them is my top priority. But do I like being a mom?
Read all about it at The Mirror and let me know what you think.
1. Here’s a visual of my Thursday evening from about 6:30 onward, when Pat mercifully took over childcare and kitchen duties:
2. It’s been a long week. Both girls sick. Up 1/3 of last night w/ insomnia. Up the other 1/3 with Girl 1, who had an earache. Blah blah blah. My life is hard, etc.
3. Due to various reasons (see above), I resorted to Tired Woman’s Sangria this evening. I just made it up. It consists of the following:
- Large drinking glass of disappointing white wine (should have stuck with Ecco Domani)
- A few spoonfuls of diced fruit (in my case, watermelon and Granny Smith apple)
- 2-3T Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, cooked together until the sugar is dissolved; I keep some on hand, made in advance)
Soak the wine, fruit, and syrup together and chill in the fridge for as long as you can stand to wait. Add ice and gulp.
4. Breaking news: forget Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, etc. and just get . . . a library card. Public libraries have a better selection of electronic books, and they’re free! It’s in the newspaper so it must be true. Also, I tried out Kindle Unlimited for the free trial period and was underwhelmed.
5. On a more serious note, I thought this was a good, short article about how Americans (not all of us but some of us) have caused the current influx of undocumented minors emigrating from Central America to the U.S.
6. And back to less serious notes: I made money from this blog for the first time yesterday!! I signed up for Amazon’s Affiliate program and made a full ten cents! That’s right, someone clicked through from my blog and spent $2.50! Try not to be too jealous. I want to frame it as the first dime I made, like some businesses frame the first dollar they make. Trouble is, Amazon won’t cut a check until I make $10. At my current rate of 4% per click-through purchase, it’ll take . . .
0.04x = $10
x = 10/.04
x = $250
. . . $247.50 more in purchases from readers. Keep it up folks! ;-) . . . Actually, after a few more purchases my rate goes up to a whopping 6% or something like that. Nevertheless, I’m keeping my day job.
7. So, inside joke for any University of Dallas people (which also applies to many small Catholic colleges): my little brother just set off for a jaunt to Ireland before his study abroad semester in Rome. He posted some pictures of his group.
I couldn’t help but notice that, while the guys in his group are fair to middling in the looks department, the girls are H-A-W-T, hot, hot.
“Steve-O, dude, how did you manage this?” I asked. His reply:
“That’s the magic of the UD ratio.”
He’s a smart one, that kid.
Happy weekend folks! Click over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes.
Here are my very brief thoughts–with letter grades–on books I’ve read in the past few months.
- Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
- Hardworking, underappreciated Korean mother disappears. Family reminisces, grieves. Universal themes set in fast-changing, post-war Korea. A
- Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley
- Agree w/ its placement on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s summer reading list. Charming, intelligent little story. A
- The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley
- Disappointing sequel to Parnassus. Rambling vanity project. C-
- The Expats by Chris Pavone
- A sort-of spy novel. Page-turner. Takes place in Luxembourg. Narrative jumps around from before, during, and after. Clumsy ending. B-
- The Lost Husband by Katherine Center
- Personal growth novel needs protagonist either sympathetic or interesting. Here, neither. Agree to disagree w/ MMD on this one. D
- Everyone Is Beautiful by Katherine Center
- Slightly better offering from Ms. Center. I like the premise of a 30-something mom reinventing herself in a constructive way. Falls flat at the end. C
- Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman
- Possibly changed my life, though only halfway well written. Will get its own post eventually. Either A+ or C
- Promises I Can Keep by Kathryn Edin & Maria Kefalas
- Why do underprivileged women choose to bear children but also often forgo marriage indefinitely? Fascinating. Read Mary’s review here. A
- Girls On the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls: Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins by Leonard Sax
- Should be required reading for all parents of girls. Scary but hopeful. Gives scientific, well-reasoned explanations for old-fashioned ideas. A
- Driven to Distraction:Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward Hallowell & John Ratey
- Good introduction to ADD/ ADHD, though some of it is common knowledge now. Divided about 50/50 between ADHD in adults and in kids. B
- When Hell Was In Session by Adm. Jeremiah Denton
- Amazing account by recently deceased American hero who was POW in Vietnam. Fairly quick read. Straightforward writing style. A
- The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
- V. clever rhyming story of a kind mother of seven picky eaters. Charming pictures. My girls love it. Even has Pat’s seal of approval. A+
- Winter Days In the Big Woods (My First Little House Books) “by” Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Charming introduction to the Little House series for kids not quite ready for chapter books. My five- and two-year old girls love it. A
And–how annoying is this?–I’m going to name my five favorites of these books and link up with Heather for Five Favorites:
1. Please Look After Mom
2. Grace for the Good Girl
3. Girls On the Edge
4. Seven Silly Eaters
5. Promises I Can Keep
1. By 11:30 am today, Girl 2 had watched Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings, Barbie: A Mermaid Tale, and was back to a second viewing of Tinker Bell. I don’t know what I’m going to do when Girl 1 is at school three days a week this school year.
Go ahead and call me Jerry Falwell if you must, but aren’t these fairies giving each a look that’s not quite . . . platonic?
2. Girl 2’s boredom this week was due to Girl 1’s being in Vacation Bible School all week. She loved it.
Vacation Bible School piqued Girl 1’s interest in matters theological.
Me: “Jesus Obeys God’s Word” (reading the title of a coloring sheet she brought home).
Girl 1: “But Jesus is God.”
Me: “Yes. Well. . . .”
Girl 1: W”here is God? Is God up there?” (pointing at the sky)
Me: “Well, yes, God is in heaven. God is in lots of places. . . .”
Girl 1: “Is heaven where we go when we die? I don’t want to die.”
3. Pat has been underappreciated around these parts lately.
Girl 2: “Dee [Girl 1] — queen. Det [Girl 2] — Princess.
Da [Dad] –Bad Guy.”
Me: “What? Daddy’s not a bad guy. Daddy can be the king.”
Girl 2: “Otay. Da — Ting.”
4. And that night, when Pat was making Girl 1 go to bed, Girl 1 uttered a tearful, spontaneous, impassioned prayer:
“Dear God, Please take away Daddy. He’s being mean!”
5.. At church recently, I genuflected and told Girl 1 that we kneel down that like because Jesus is there and Jesus is the King.
She thought for a second, then fanned out her skirt and bowed low in an elegant, exaggerated curtsy.
Princess that she is, I kind of hope she keeps it up.
6. Which reminds me: here’s a picture of Duchess Catherine curtseying to the King of Belgium.
Here is the most graceful woman in the world, performing what is certainly a well-practiced and exactingly correct curtsy.
Still it looks painful and awkward. I think curtseys are best left for those wearing ball gowns.
7. I just came across this bit of eye candy on Pinterest. Isn’t It lovely? This is the look I’m going for in Girl 1’s room.
Happy weekend everyone. Check out Conversion Diary for more quick takes.
and other favorites:
I’m not a big white wine drinker, but this is heaven in a glass when served chilled. It also makes my evening blog browse all the more enjoyable, like–
2. Heather’s Tuesday post. OMG. She cracks me up. God bless her. (Her post is where holy sex comes in.)
( On a scale of 1 to 10, how annoying is it when I put something provocative like “holy sex” in the title of the post as a teaser and then you find out my post isn’t really about whatever provocative word I used?? Never mind, don’t answer that. )
3. Amelia’s post on her family’s experience with whooping cough. Super interesting.
4. Liberté Méditerranée coconut yogurt. Wow, that stuff is so dang good.
5. Bergamot whipped body butter from For Goodness Soap. Bergamot is my new favorite scent–spicy and citrusy–and this is the best all-natural moisturizer I’ve tried so far.
Happy Wednesday y’all! Check out Heather’s blog for more Five Favorites post.
Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy stirred up a firestorm recently when she called a cardigan “the easiest way to ruin a good outfit.” It was one of her most commented-upon posts of the year. Cardigans! People feel strongly about their cardigans.
I have to agree with her for the most part.
I tried finding a pink cardigan to wear with a black dress for a school auction earlier this year. I was hoping for something like this:
Instead I ended up with this:
I returned them both and went without. Fortunately it was a warm evening.
Another example is one night long ago when Pat and I went out for dinner. I have a hard time with dressy-casual outfits. I wore a sleeveless top and jeans.
Because it was nighttime and slightly chilly, though, I threw on a cardigan.
It killed any potential that outfit had. (I still wore it. Marriage, you know.) In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t so awful, but it wasn’t great.
A blazer would have been better. I love my navy blazer.
On the other hand, some of my favorite outfits over the past few years included cardigans.
It bothers me at this deep deep level that I can’t have a just a few pieces that all go with each other.
But a completely mix-and-match wardrobe only seems to work if your pieces are all the same shape. The same cardigan that goes with skinny jeans most likely will not go with flared jeans and an A-line dress, too.
I’ve thought and thought about this (chronic overthinker here!) and I’ve concluded: it’s all about proportion. Aesthetics and beauty are all about proportion, right? Symmetry is the most universally accepted standard of beauty. The aesthetics of proportion are unavoidable. Who am I to think I can get away with wearing any old cardigan with anything? Nature and nature’s laws, etc.
How that for starting out with cardigans and ending with philosophy? Are you impressed yet?
Never mind, I’m going to shop for more blazers.
Looking for a movie tonight? I’ve been on a light-and-fluffy movie-watching streak lately. Check out my picks over at Atelier. Let me know what you think!
Mexican food, Spanish princesses, an Argentinian cardinal, grammar snobbery and more.
1. This comic:
Facebook’s psychological experiment on its unknowing users is old news now, I suppose. I still think I’ll get back on Facebook one of these days, but that whole brouhaha made me put it off just a leetle longer.
2. Elizabeth Esther’s book, Girl At the End of the World, and her blog. Wow. I usually don’t enjoy reading a lot of air-out-your-feelings and theological musings blog posts, but something about Elizabeth’s story and her writing has me hooked.
3. Apropos to one of Elizabeth Esther’s recent posts, this quote from a talk Pope Francis gave in 2001 (before he was pope):
Christian morality is not a titanic effort of the will, the effort of someone who decides to be consistent and succeeds, a solitary challenge in the face of the world. No. Christian morality is simply a response. It is the heartfelt response to a surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy (I shall return to this adjective). The surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy, using purely human criteria, of one who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same . . . . This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a never falling down but an always getting up again.
4. Mexican (“Mexican”) food. A local restaurant makes a rockin’ Sopa Azteca, and it had me daydreaming about more for days. This is pretty close, if you crush some tortilla chips into it at the end:
Other recipes I’ve enjoyed are for this Mexican chicken:
And these loaded nachos:
5. Grilled eggplant “burgers” brushed with a balsamic vinaigrette, topped with tomato, basil, and melted fresh mozzarella cheese. To die for. Equally good if you broil rather than grill the eggplant slices. Amazingly easy. All those eggplants I’m getting in our CSA baskets no longer pose a problem.
6. Spain’s two real, live little girl princesses. How cute are they?! (Another blogger brought them to my attention. Wish I could remember who.) Girl 1 and I spent a while browsing their pictures on Pinterest. Girl 1 was gratified that the princesses have straight hair, like her.
The princesses’ mother, Queen Letizia, is my new girl crush. Check out this outfit:
Is it just me or is that skirt basically the same as my go-to skort? It’s like we’re twinsies! We have the same mom uniform! <3 <3 <3 I’ll be she reads my blog!
7. I enjoyed Amelia’s post, “Why I’m NOT Trying to Lose Weight Even Though I’m Overweight.“
8. Bonus quick take: Has any grammar snob out there not heard Weird Al’s Word Crimes yet? If not, here you go. You’re welcome.
I can’t help it. I love Weird Al.
And a sign that we are doomed.
Reason #1: Because it has lines like this:
“In years to come he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer, proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water.”
“When I recollect her, I see a long list of colors, but it’s the three in which I saw her in the flesh that resonate the most. Sometimes I manage to float far above those three moments. I hang suspended, until a septic truth bleeds toward clarity.”
Blech. The author uses a unique narrative style that is supposed to be all innovative and such. It’s really just dumb. (Hilarious parody here).
Reason #2: Here’s where I get really heated (so please excuse me while I get melodramatic)–
Adding yet another fictitious book or movie about the Nazi Holocaust to the hundreds that already exist is not a good idea, at least not while there is a dearth of works about the other genocides of our time.
In Constitutional Law class, on of my law school classmates made the following analogy (I forget what it was about):
“Maybe it wouldn’t be like Nazi Germany where, you know, they kill you. Maybe it would be more like Stalinist Russia, where they just take your property.”
It took me a few moments to retrieve my jaw from off the floor.
In Stalinist Russia they just take your property.
This is what my generation thinks.
This classmate of mine is and was intelligent, educated in fine Catholic schools and a prestigious private university. But our generation, and those that followed, have been fed a steady diet of books and movies like When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Diary of Anne Frank, Night, Schindler’s List, and (now) The Book Thief.
We have read nothing about the 30+ million people killed in the Bolshevik Revolution.
Nothing about the 40 million killed under Mao Zedong.
Nothing about the horrors under Pol Pot, about the Armenian genocide, and precious little about the horrors occurring in North Korea to this very day.
And here I can’t help but become a bit of a conspiracy theorist and think that we know less about those other atrocities because they were committed by the political left. Hitler, being on the political right, is a more comfortable target for journalists, moviemakers and writers, a majority of whom (I think) hover left of center. It’s so dumb to think in those terms, really, because as far as I can see, political ideologies don’t form a straight line so much as a sphere. The extreme right and extreme left meet in the middle as far as their effect on the unfortunate populations ruled by them.
In our ignorance, we dress our kids in tee-shirts with Chairman Mao’s image on it, and let them frolic around in public, without a care in the world about public condemnation. (Seriously, I saw this with my own eyes.)
Can you imagine anyone in mainstream America putting their kid in a tee-shirt with Hitler’s image? No. Of course not. God forbid.
A recent survey showed that only 48% of people worldwide under age 35 know about the Nazi Holocaust. That ignorance is shocking and disturbing and unacceptable. But if any significant part of that 48% includes moderately to well-educated young people from mainstream America, I’ll make like Mr. Grimwig and eat my head. Like my Con Law classmate, we know all about the Holocaust and precious little about the rest of history.
I don’t want people reading and writing any less about the Holocaust except insofar as it gives us a myopic sense of the Nazi Holocaust being the one, unique event of its kind.
It’s not not not that I think we should be any less aware of the incomprehensibly horrific Nazi Holocaust. And certainly, by the numbers, it was the worst or one of the worst ever. By focusing on it to the exclusion of other genocides, however, we have become over confident.
We (and I’m speaking for my peers here) think we know what evil looks like. It’s Hitler. We understand him (or at least we think we do), and we would never make the same mistake Germany did in electing such a monster to power. We would never turn a blind eye when a certain minority group is targeted. We would never fall sway to a megalomaniacal demagogue. We. Know. Better.
But we have no idea about the other “Hitlers” of recent history. About Mao and Pol Pot and Stalin and the genocides in Armenia and Rwanda and the Congo.
They say those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.
We are doomed to repeat it.
(But first I’m linking up with Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday. ;-)