#shopmycloset !

Hi Friends,  I’m sending out a news blast every which way I can — I’m selling some items that no longer fit, to make room and some money for new things that do.  Please take a look if you’re so inclined.   They are mostly size 10 or 12.  Payment is through Paypal.

And that’s all for now!

ballet recital

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who knows where the time goes

Recently I recalled, “Wow, I used to have just two kids, and one of them was in school three days a week and I was home with the [arguably easier] one.  What did I do with my time??”

Oh yeah, I had a blog.

I miss those days but these days are better.

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And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it’s time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, friends!  A lot has happened since I last wrote here.  Most significantly, Little Guy arrived in mid-December:

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We are all in love with him.

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I’ve been determined to Take It Easy this postpartum time, for once.  So far, so good.  I’m feeling a lot like a glued-to-the-couch cow,

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but Little Guy is napping well today, so maybe we’ve turned a corner, maybe.  And I’m so happy not to be pregnant anymore.

Seriously, I’ve left the house for two pediatrician appointments, Christmas day Mass, Christmas dinner at my in-laws, and one walk around the neighborhood.  That’s it!  Even my homebody self is getting cabin fever, but this postpartum experience is so much better than the last two, so I’m sticking with what works.

These days I’m

reading:

Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy

(Pretty ironic reading this while nursing almost constantly. What’s going on here in my subconscious? . . . I read an interesting review in the Wall Street Journal before Little Guy was born, so anyway.)

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women (I don’t agree with a lot of her premises but it’s interesting reading a modern feminist/ French perspective on the low-birth-rate crisis in the West.)

I Believe in LoveA Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

watching:

Homeland.  So addicted.  I’m beginning Season 3, which is not the best, but I hear it improves in Seasons 4 and 5.  Claire Danes is so good, as is Inigo Montoya, uh, I mean, Mandy Pitinkin.

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Damien Lewis is good too, but I’m sick of the whole Brody/Carrie thing.  I’m inclined to agree with Saul (pardon the French):

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During the day, I watch a whole bunch of Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures

and The Magic Schoolbus.  Over and over and over and over and . . .

We’re so ready for school to start back up.

eating:

whatever delicious meals my kind friends make me, plus Cliff bars and lots of yogurt

wearing:

ratty old yoga pants and tee-shirts and pajama pants.  I just ordered the Metro Skinny pants from Athleta (currently on sale), hoping they’ll do the trick when it’s time to go out into the world.

Baby’s sureto wake up any minute so I’ll leave off here.  Thanks to everyone out there still reading this blog!

It’s not just the same old song

That’s my brother folks!!

CNS Blog

Pope and bishops at midday prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral. (CNS photo/Toni L. Sandys, pool) Pope and bishops at prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral. (CNS photo/Toni L. Sandys, pool)

For midday prayer Sept. 23 at the St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, one might think the musical program would be fairly stuffed with Gregorian chant and the musical stylings of the Renaissance. But you would be wrong.

It’s true that there were a few selections from the  Renaissance era, but the 20th-century was fairly well represented, with works by Francis Poulenc, Pierre Villette and Gustav Holst. There were even pieces from living composers, Robert LeBlanc and Daniel Gawthrop among them.

One of those living composers has a chance to make a mark on the 21st century, since he is only 24 years old. John Henderson composed an antiphon to Psalm 17, replete with vocal, brass and organ arrangements.

Henderson picked up his bachelor’s degree at The Catholic University of America in Washington in composition, although he…

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Weekend Link Love, July 25, 2015: Death Penalty, Rejection, and Parenting

But not all at the same time . . . .

Hello Friends,  Real quick-like, here are a few choice picks from the internet of the past few weeks:

1. Check out this article on how a Mexican drug lord recently succeeded in a meticulously planned prison escape.  It made me think about the death penalty and Catholic Church teaching on it and whether need for the death penalty is really so rare.  In Mexico anyway?  I dunno.

2. I loved this article from Money Saving Mom.  My daughters already have to deal with feeling rejected by other kids from time to time.  I know what it’s like to feel rejected.  I’d give anything to shield them from it, but I can’t.  Crystal discusses how to handle it constructively.  

Honestly, as a mom, I wanted to rush in and scoop them up and protect them. I wanted to express anger and frustration and say things like, “That was so rude and mean… You can never play with those girls ever again!!”

I hurt for them. But I knew deep down in my heart that trying coddle and bubble wrap my kids is doing them a disservice. I cannot shield them from hard things forever.

. . . .

Because there’s a world out there that will crush you in two if you don’t develop backbone, stand strong, know the truth that you’re enough, and lovingly forgive and believe the best about people.

So part of growing up is learning to love others even when they do unloving things to you. It’s forgiving when you are slighted or skipped over — whether intentional or accidental. It’s not harboring bitterness and anger toward people who don’t treat us fairly.

. . . .

I also told the girls that the best remedy for times when you feel lonely and left out is to do something for someone else. Reach out to someone else. Be interested in other people’s lives. Look for ways to serve. Find opportunities to show love.

3. I learned a lot from this article from this Wall Street Journal about the Confederate battle flag brouhaha in South Carolina.  I’ve been seeing a lot more of those flags flying in our town.  I didn’t have a strong opinion on the flag earlier.  My feeling before was, “Just take it down already.”  I have a soft spot for federalism though (or states rights, but that phrase has a negative connotation), and there seemed to be some connection.  I honestly had no idea that the flag was resurrected in the mid-1900s in reaction to the civil rights movement.  And now . . . yeah, seriously, take it down already.

4. On a lighter note, here’s a good resource showing proportionally how much electricity various household items use, and how much energy-saving strategies actually save. It’s something I’ve been thinking about because it looks like we actually will be moving to a bigger house soon, and I’m not looking forward to those utility bills.

5. Remember that singer, Jewel, and her album Pieces of You?  I know some of you remember it.  And that song “Sensitive,” where she whines in her little girl falsetto,

Please be careful with me/ I’m sensitive and I’d like to stay that wa-ay.

Anyway, that makes me roll my eyes and think, “Just get over yourself already.”  But, as Modern Mrs. Darcy explains well, there really is something to “highly sensitive persons” and parenting one is quite a challenge. It’s not so much an issue of having your feelings hurt easily, a la Jewel, but of having overactive physical senses.

6. Speaking of parenting, this funny article by Rob LaZabnik, a writer for the Simpsons, made me laugh: “They’re Back! How to Cope with Returned College Graduates.”

So the time has come for you to cut the cord. And by that I mean: Take your kid off your Netflix account. He will be confused and upset at first, not understanding why this is happening to him, but it’s a great opportunity for him to sign up for something all by himself.

Which brings us to money. It’s finally time to channel your Angela Merkel and get tough with your young Alexis Tsipras.

It also make me think, “No God, please no.”  Also, who is Alexis Tsipras?  I don’t even know, but I still laughed.

7.  Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more quick takes.

The Summer of Bratitude and Other Assorted Thoughts

I read Jenny’s recent post with a lot of interest.  I think her point there and, even more, her point here, are basically what I was trying to say here.  I thought it then and I still think it now: we have a shortage of religious vocations because sex has been oversold.  Consequence-free sex.  And even those of us  who go into marriage committed to Church teaching probably still underestimate the consequences.  This makes me sound . . . um . . . frustrated and dissatisfied.  And I’m not, generally.  It’s just that the consequences of my sex life are still screaming at me at friggin’ 10 pm, as per usual the past few weeks, and the convent is starting to sound not half bad . . . .

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Seriously, the brattiness levels here have been off the charts.  I understand why some find the word “brat” offensive.  I’d never call my child, or any other child, a brat within their hearing.  Maybe they’ll read this in five or ten years and be offended but seriously . . . if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, etc.

I was so out of commission the first three months of this pregnancy, I must have let discipline slide a lot.  I generally did whatever was the path of least resistance.  I don’t remember many details.  But man, give them an inch. . . .  We still get fast food way too often, but I’m cutting back.  It got to the point (still is at the point) where, if they get nuggets and fries Chick-Fil-A, they whine because I didn’t also get them ice cream.  Ridiculous.  For Pat and me both, eating out was a huge treat when we were growing up.  And for my kids it’s no big deal.  And of course the only one I have to blame is myself

. . .  and the new baby.  Even now, at 18 or so weeks, I can’t stand the thought of cooking meat.  I cooked some bacon the other day, and I just recently started heating up those pre-grilled Tyson frozen chicken strips and can stand to eat them.  But thinking about them grosses me out.  I’ve been eating a lot of cold cuts, and beans.  But you can only eat so many beans.

My scathingly brilliant idea I just came up with this evening is to buy a bag of miniature marshmallows.  Tomorrow evening, I’ll set out 5 for each girl.  Every time they get out of bed or scream at me from bed, I throw away a marshmallow.  I think I got the idea from this:

I’ll let you know how it works.

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Y’all, I am just so tired.

This is the story of my life right now.

I’m mostly stopped trying to do any more than I can do.  It’s just what I can do is so pitifully little.

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We have a contract on a house, and it’s an emotionally exhausting process.  I remember–now–why we said, “never again!” when we did this seven years ago.

Basically, the house we’re looking to buy has everything we want: location, size, layout, yard, view.  It also has mold, radon, and bats.  Oh my!  And it’s at the tippy-top of our price range.  I have plans to write a post titled, “Kicking Dave Ramsey to the Curb,” because that’s what we’re doing.  So crazy.  We’re still in the middle of inspections and negotiations, so it may all fall through.

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I love Lisa’s summer momiform.  I’ve been shopping at LOFT a lot too, since Girl1 has a weekly vision therapy appointment in a professional/retail complex that has a LOFT at the other end.  I drop Girl 1 off, then mosey through the parking lot with Girl2, who has to balance-walk on every curb, inspect every blob of guano, and generally move at a snail’s pace.  Then I have about ten minutes to look through the store and hurriedly try things on before going back through the parking lot to get Girl 1.

Then walk back through the parking lot to try more things on while the girls scream and shriek at each other, fondle the jewelry, lick the mirrors, turn off the store lights, etc.

Then I maybe buy something, or maybe have a saleslady order a size or color not available in store through the website for me, because shipping is free if you order through the store.  Then we leave a stuffed mermaid in the store, just for the fun of returning for the third time in one day.

What mermaids wear to Mass

Then the next week, I bring 75% of my purchases to the store to return them (saving on return shipping fees) and repeat steps 1 through 1,000,000.

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After all that, though, I have no cute maternity outfits to show you.  Today, this was my #ootd and it possibly also was my #potnb*, embellished by the three-year-old with thigh sequins and a makeshift Frozen necklace.

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(*pajamas of the night before)

I bought these Lou & Grey linen “jogger” pants (in navy blue) at full price (ouch) and they were worth it because they are so comfortable.  The waist is huge, which works as my belly is expanding.  I don’t look really pregnant yet, but the belly’s definitely expanding in a slow, all-over spread.  The pants are really baggy and probably look awful but I don’t care.  I also got these linen pants when LOFT was running a 50% off in-store special; same deal: baggy, frumpy, comfy.

I’ve fallen into the trap of feeling fat and buying clothes that are too big, which makes me look sloppy and bigger.  I’ve fallen and I can’t get out.

But it’s an ego boost.  I made a huge order of maternity pants from Asos and nothing fit.  I ordered them all about a size bigger than my pre-pregnancy size.  I still have post-traumatic stress from ordering maternity jeans last go-round 1 and 2 sizes up from my pre-pregnancy size and still barely getting them past my knees. Oh the misery.  Never again.

So.  This time I ordered all these baggy, jogger-style pants a size up and they were ridiculously, ridiculously huge.  Like these:

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During her first pregnancy, my sister Martha ordered a bunch of maternity stuff from Asos.  She mentioned to me that she returned everything because “nothing really worked.”  And I remember thinking, “Seriously?  Do you really need to be that picky?”  (Don’t you wish you had me as an older sister?) And now . . . .

Also, I ordered some maternity shorts from Target (these and these).  They’re all fine, but my legs already are retaining water like you would not believe.  This happened with my prior pregnancy, too.  I felt like such a fat cow.  “omg! I’m eating so much my legs have gotten visibly fatter!”  But now I realize it’s just water.  And there’s not much I can do about it.  Except to drink more water (trying to), eat more protein (trying to, but see meat problem, supra), and (supposedly) wrap wet cabbage leaves around my legs (nope).

So I’m returning all the shorts. There’s no need to expose my legs to the world.  Except I might possibly keep this linen pair, again non-maternity, again from Lou & Grey.  Because it is summer, after all.

And if only my dimples were on my face.

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Whew!  Okay, the girls finally have fallen asleep. . . .  Thank you for anyone still reading through to the end of this ramble.  I’ve missed writing here.  I wish you all the best for the rest of the week, and I hope to post again soon.

Friday Link Love (and some quotes): June 26, 2015

1.  Even children experience His Passion, for our natural age has very little to do with our Christ-age, and the fact of being in Christ at all implies a state of childhood in the soul, a child’s almost infinite capacity for experiencing joy and sorrow completely.

–Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God

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I ordered a copy of Angel in the Waters for the girls.  I read it to them for the first time Tuesday night.  Girl 1 read it to herself multiple times and was weepy and mopey all day Wednesday.

“I just can’t stop thinking about Angel in the Waters. *sniff* “

“Does it make you sad?”

“No, it’s just . . .  *sniff* . . . The baby is just so little and so cute.  *sob*”

 

2. “Fed up with law practice? In about a year, you can be a computer coder, says lawyer who made switch.”  Pat has pretty much the ideal job.  I can’t say switching hasn’t crossed my mind . . . .

3.  We had the perfect family dinner a few weeks ago at my former-new-favorite sushi place (we’ll call it FNFSP).  The girls tried new food–shrimp tempura!  We called it “shrimp nuggets.”  The girls gobbled it down.  They loved using chop sticks.  Pat and I enjoyed delicious sushi.  Taking the girls out to real restaurants has been mostly disastrous for years, and this was like a light at the end of the tunnel.

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And then . . .

  • Both girls puked that night, and all the next day, and most of the next.  And then . . .
  • We felt better Saturday and took an overnight trip to my cousin’s graduation party, and then,
  • I stupidly bought them Happy Meals during the car trip, and then . . .
  • Girl2 puked in the hotel pool . . . multiple french fry filled heaves before Pat could get her out of the water (we tipped the unfortunate lifeguard/ pool cleaner).  And then . . .
  • She fussed and cried all during the pool party the next day.  We let big sister swim but not Girl 2.  I just couldn’t risk doing that to my uncle.  And then . . .
  • Last week we noticed some unauthorized purchases made on our debit cards.  We cancelled the cards, contacted the bank, got the money credited back, etc. etc.

But still . . . .

  • We couldn’t figure out how it happened.  Both of our debit card numbers had been stolen.  The cards were still in our possession, so they must have been skimmed.  But Pat hardly ever uses his debit card for purchases.
  • The only place we’ve both used our debit cards lately has been our own bank’s ATM and, oh yeah . . . .

at FNFSP.

Insult upon injury x 1000000000.

6.   Girl1: [out of the blue] “Man, I like Jesus too.”

       Girl1: “Mom!  Your bum bum is just like your [pregnant] belly!”

Girl 2: “I weally want Jesus to come back. . . . I weally want Uncle John to come back. . . . I weally want Jesus to come back.”  [conflated identities, perhaps?  they both have beards]

Girl 1: “That’s a picture of my mom and dad when they got married.”

LittleFriend: “Your mom looks really different!!!”  [So. I’ve. been. told, kid.]

Girl1 [just now, looking at the photo I posted of our FNFSP trip]:  “Ewwww, yuck.   From now on, I hate FNFSP.”

7. Have a lovely weekend. Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more quick takes.

 

What My Kids Think About Their Daddy

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1. What is something your dad always says to you?

Girl 2: “Clean up.”

Girl 1: “Yes, cheeks?” and “What are you doing?” and “Don’t stick your hands in your bum bum.”



2. What makes your dad happy? 
G2: Draw something

G1: When we’re not doing
anything that makes him mad and when we don’t bug him for stuff.

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3. What makes your dad sad?

G1: When we’re, like, screaming around and messing with his stuff and . . . that’s all.

G2: Hit him.


4. How does your dad make you laugh? 
G1:When he doo-doodle-ees [tickles] us.

G2: Do funny fings.

5. What was your dad like when he was a child?
G1: He had a different kind of face and blonde hair and he was like . . .Mr. Harry and looks like . . .

G2: Play with stuff.

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6. How old is your dad?
G1: 33

G2: I fink . . .  [holds up two fingers]


7. How tall is your dad? 
G1: He’s like . . . all the way up to the door.

G2:[reaches way up]


8. What is his favorite thing to do? 
G1: Tickle us

G2: Read stuff
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9. What does your dad do when you’re not around? 
G1: Look for us

G2: Cwean up . . . daddy awways cwean up . . . and vacuum.


10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for? 
G1: Loving

G2: [Gives a thumbs up.]

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11. What is your dad really good at? 
G1: Writing faster

G2: Writing
12. What is your dad not very good at?

G1: Trying to carry something heavier than the couch {NB: Pat is the only one in the house who carries anything heavy at all.}

G2: Dwawing
13. What does your dad do for a job? 
G1:  Try to write something and work something and . . . I don’t know.

G2: Painting stuff

[He did some painting around the house yesterday.]

[He’s a software developer.]

14. What is your dad’s favorite food?

G1: Chicken cake [giggle], soup, macaroni, lasagna, sauce, broccoli, and apples and peanut butter.
G2: Rice and beans [what we had for lunch today] [not his favorite]

15. What makes you proud of your dad? 
G1:When he does something for us like put on us movies.

G2: Give me a kiss.
16. If your dad were a character, who would he be? 
G1: Maybe . . . Larry the cucumber on Veggie Tales ’cause of his green shirt.

G2: A king


17. What do you and your dad do together? 
G1: Draw pictures and turn on the light and eat hot dogs.

G2: Write




18. How are you and your dad the same? 

G1: He was born and . . . I don’t really know!

G2: [Holds hands out ~12 inches apart] This tall like a huge baby like this!

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19. How are you and your dad different? 

G1: I don’t know.

G2: Then we will get eaten by a dragon.



20. How do you know your dad loves you? 

G1: Because he’s my daddy!

G2: Give us a nice hug.
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21. What does your dad like the most about your mom? 

G1: He loves you also and . . . he jokes.

G2: Holding hands.

22: Where is your dad’s favorite place to go?

G1: Library and church and museum and playground . . . mostly playground.

G2: Mass

23. Hold old was your dad when you were born?

G1: 29

G2: [holds up 3 fingers]

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Linking up with Sarah and Diana.  You should too!