Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick Takes


I watch various friends fall wholesale into the cult of food. I'm not immune to it, but I tend to be something of a skeptic as well. I grow a big garden, buy a cow from the local Mennonites and make a lot of stuff from scratch, but mostly I do these things because they are cheaper, not because I'm convinced of their making me feel better or live forever.

Along with my natural curmudgeonly nature on the subject, I remember several years ago talking to a friend about the fact that for most of the world, eating fruits and vegetables and having enough to eat were far more important concerns than our rich people worries about whether our food is local and organic. Which is not to say that I care to argue with or worry too much about what others are doing to change their eating habits for health or other reasons.

Being a normal sort of person wanting vindication of all my brilliant theories and philosophies, I always like running across an article that backs me up.


But being a some what crunchy person, once in a while, I do like hanging my clothes out to dry when the weather is nice. Unfortunately, this morning the wind blew over my smaller drying rack and broke it. Which means, until I get my husband to fix it or we get a new drying rack, I get to use the redneck drying system by throwing things on all available patio furniture. I am sure my neighbors love me.


The school year is coming to a close around here, although as usual, none of the books are coming out even. The oldest finished his last lesson in his main math book this week, leaving only a unit test and final exam for next week. He has a supplementary math book he's reading and working through, but he'd finish that in an afternoon if I let him. I had to cut him off after 5 chapters yesterday.

The younger two have more complicated math situations. The older of the two only finished her first grade math book a month or so ago, so she's only on the tenth lesson in the book I had intended for her to use this year. Even when we're done with school, she'll be working on math for the summer. The Kindergartner finished her Kindergarten book early and so is on lesson 10 of her first grade book. I may or may not have her keep working through the summer. She enjoys it, and far be it for me to not allow her to do any math.

The second grader did just finish her handwriting book and has begun cursive, which pleases her. I suppose we may have to keep that up in the summer as well, so that she doesn't forget what she's learning.


If you haven't figured it out from my last several posts, I am already very tired of being pregnant. Unfortunately for me, I have another three or so months to go. I have no idea how I'm going to hold on that long -- and don't remind me that my children tend to prefer arriving late to arriving early.


The other night in a bout of insomnia that found me wide awake at 3 in the morning, I started reading Mansfield Park which I haven't read in a long, long time. It wasn't the best book to put me back to sleep, but I am enjoying the development of the various characters. I think I know a few Mrs. Norrises, always willing to offer advice as long as it costs them little. I need to try and remember not to be one.


Conversation with the three year old:

"Mom, I need your help going potty!"

I rush to the bathroom and help him aim, and I ask, "Do you need to go poo?"

"No. I just had a flatulence."


Pray for Charlotte and her family today.

More Quick Takes to be found at Jen's place.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring and Gardening

I look forward to spring, to growing things and getting my hands muddy. I'll never be a hand or foot model, going barefoot through the mud and grass, digging glove-less in the dirt, but it pleases me.

Less so this year though, I'm afraid. When I sit, it's hard to rise. When I bend over, I get heartburn. I want a garden, but I don't want to do the work. This summer, I'm focused mostly on the growing creature inside and not the garden outside.

The flowers are what they are. I'm not adding to them this year. We've been paying the kids to rip out the bishop's weed quickly strangling the flower beds. Sadly, that also means fewer flowers, because I should note that five and seven year olds are not entirely discriminating in weeds versus lilies.

We went last weekend to the farmer's market and bought most of our vegetable garden plants and my husband has been working at preparing the soil and putting them in the ground. I put in the basil and stuck some mint in a pot. I'm going to grow almost exactly the same things I grow every year, except I added some dill to the herbs I bought. Today I finally sprinkled in the carrot seeds I meant to plant a month ago. At least the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and plums are doing nicely without any effort from me.

When it comes time to harvest and store things, I think I may have to find incentives, monetary or otherwise, to get the rugrats to do the work. I am just getting too tired.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Actually, I'm feeling whiny and more inclined towards the second line of the Monty Python song than the first. Even with bright spots like some of my friends taking me out for my birthday, it's just been one of those weeks (and it isn't even over).

The baby spent one night throwing up every 10-15 minutes from 2-4 a.m. She was bright and cheerful by 7 in the morning though. Then she fell down stairs another day and put a tooth all the way through her lower lip (but at least we didn't need stitches). The 3 year old has been un-potty-training -- leaving puddles and smelly underwear in his wake. The 5 year old finds a grievance against her person every 5 minutes. The 7 year old is having a lot of trouble with math, again. And the 10 year old is acting like a morose almost teenager and complaining over the injustice of being asked to do school work that he isn't fond of.

And me? Well, I'm sleeping poorly and everything aches. I'm really not sure every morning how I'm going to get out of bed (certain areas that get a lot of extra pressure from the wee bairn are quite painful and almost seem worse after a night of sleep). As mentioned already, I'm just whiny. I can't do things I want to do and things aren't necessarily happening according to my plans and I hate that!

But some good things are happening. Today was beautiful. Laundry hung outside smells lovely. The kids are probably learning something and even if they aren't they are enjoying playing outside and catching caterpillars.

Remind me. I will survive and feel better eventually, right?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Advanced Maternal Age

Eleven years ago, when I was expecting my first child, I was confidently certain that I would never hear the words Advanced Maternal Age applied to me. My husband and I began our family at a fairly young age and so naturally I believed I would also be done at a fairly young age.

Ha ha ha! When I went for my first check up with this pregnancy, my doctor pointed out that I would reach that dreaded "Advanced Maternal Age" before I delivered this child. Fortunately, for me it hasn't really changed anything about my pregnancy except that I feel older and creakier (not to mention more exhausted) than I did eleven years ago.

But here I am. Today I have reached the milestone of Advanced Maternal Age. I didn't expect that. But if you'd asked me eleven years ago, I certainly wouldn't have expected to be Catholic or have five other children either.

If you'd asked me 25 years ago, I wouldn't have even thought I'd be living in Tennessee. I didn't make it east of the Mississippi until I was in sixth grade.

Funny things happen, but as they say, "Getting older is better than the alternative."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Coloring Pages

I haven't mentioned them in a while, but I've added a bunch of new coloring pages of Saints to the sidebar. These are all made to correspond to specific lessons in Blue Knights and Little Flowers. Some of the new ones over there:

Hope these are useful to some of you out there!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to Tell if You are Really Catholic

My oldest had his First Communion amidst the chaos of us all entering the Church -- and he's a boy anyway. Preparing my second child for this Sacrament had the added benefit of shopping for pretty things.

Sunday morning was a beautiful time to reflect on how far our family has come from our first exploratory visits to a Catholic Mass a few years ago and how fortunate we all are to be able to receive the Lord in the Eucharist.

I wonder sometimes whether the Eastern churches example of giving Confirmation and Communion at the same time as Baptism might be the better way, but since we are Westerners and the tradition is for a delay in these Sacraments, I am going to embrace the tradition and the celebration that comes with it.

Want to see a few more pictures? Go to my friend's page. The shortest girl is mine (as is the shortest altar boy)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday, Monday

I woke up this morning feeling awful -- not a fever, not a cold -- just not good. Therefore, I decided that other than a few self-directed activities, the kids were going to get a day to enjoy the lovely spring weather.

Naturally, every time I leave my room, I notice that the house has deteriorated a few more steps into chaos, but I was expecting that.

Then I heard from upstairs, "Mom, the toilet is clogged!" I just didn't want to deal with it right then and yelled back that the child should find another receptacle. At which point I heard, "But Mom, you don't understand! Water is flowing all over the floor."

Well that got my attention! Toilet plunging, several towels and some bleach later, I think things are relatively ok. The floor probably needs another mopping, but I plan to leave that for later, because I still feel awful and mopping stinky bathrooms doesn't help much.

So how is your Monday going?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit

Happy Easter to all!
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