30 June 2013

What I Wore Sunday {21}

Linking with Fine Linen and Purple for their weekly encouragement to wear our best for the Lord!

This morning sure didn't feel like I had a "best" to give... I had all four wisdom teeth out on Friday, and am still quite sore, swollen, and out of it! When my alarm went off at 7:30, I just couldn't face getting up and running out the door right then; my wonderful husband agreed that we could go to a different Mass at a parish closer to home, and I quickly fell back asleep. Unfortunately I didn't set a new alarm, so when I woke up at 9, we did have to scramble to make it to Mass at 9:30!

Faced with the choice of going without ibuprofen or breaking my fast, well, it wasn't really a choice. I know some people would tell me (they already have) that I shouldn't be taking pain medication at all and should just offer up the suffering, especially since I have to take the medication with food and thus couldn't receive Communion today, but honestly? I wouldn't have made it through Mass this morning without something dialing the pain down to a dull roar. And I can't open my mouth wide enough to receive Communion yet, anyway.

We would have been on time, despite the rush. We got to the church on time, and went to the door that opens directly to the stairs leading to the cry room, and it was locked. So we walked back around to the main doors of the church, saw how crowded it was, knew that Little Bear would be a huge distraction if we didn't sit in the cry room, and decided to cut through the social hall to get to the cry room stairs without bothering people. That door was locked, too. We had to go all the way back out and around, and walk quickly and shamefacedly up through a side aisle in the nave to get to the cry room, my face burning at what all of the older folks who know my parents had to be thinking about us for walking in late. Matt didn't mind; "They're the ones who locked all of the doors," he pointed out. But I doubt most of them knew that the doors were locked, and I couldn't help feeling flustered and judged.

Compared to his usual Mass behavior, Little Bear was amazing today. Wonderful. A+. He sat still and quiet for most of Mass, didn't complain about being quickly handed to Daddy whenever he began patting Mama's face, only made a few quiet happy sounds all the way through, and never tried to crawl anywhere. He was so well behaved, people at our regular parish would have thought we'd left him at home. Compared to the dearth of children in the parish we were visiting, though, you'd have thought we had brought in a full drum set from the looks we got for having a real kid, who made noise, in the cry room, obviously disrupting these people horrendously. I don't think we will be going there for Sunday Mass again for a while.

The hat is back this week, attempting to hide my swollen face... Looking at the photo, I guess it didn't really help as much as I'd hoped. I think the glasses just emphasized the roundness, too. And yes, I did try to smile... That's as wide as my mouth goes right now! Oh, to have had these teeth out in high school or college like everyone else...

Hat: Fred Meyers
Glasses: Flexon
Blouse: thrifted
Skirt: Walmart
Shoes: Payless Shoes

Have a lovely afternoon! 

29 June 2013

Losing Wisdom

Don't anyone worry; Matt didn't forget the requisite joke about how I lost all of my wisdom teeth but he still has two. That, I responded, is why he is so good at physics and I am perfectly happy never having taken it.

We arrived at the oral surgeon's clinic shortly before 8 yesterday morning, and poor Little Bear's cries of Mama, Mama! began as soon as I went up to the counter to check in and fill out last-minute paperwork. We'd opted to have him stay in the waiting room with Matt instead of asking someone else to watch him so that we could go straight home after the surgery, and I packed my purse with toys, books, crackers and a cup to keep him distracted. A nurse came out and turned on Tom and Jerry cartoons for him, Matt said, and his first encounter with cartoons seems to have kept him pretty happy! 

He said his first sentence while I was back in surgery, and it made Matt feel so badly for him: "I want Mama!" Aww...

I was taken back to a surgery room and hooked up to five different monitors; I couldn't decide whether it was supposed to scare me with the seriousness of surgery, or comfort me that they took safety so seriously! After the nurse got the IV into my arm (no, I didn't look; what, did you think I was brave or something?) she started a drip of 0.9% saline solution and called in the anesthesiologist. He greeted me and asked if I had any questions, then told me that he was going to start the first medication, asking the nurses for "the orangey-colored one." They laughed, he told me that it would start to take effect in about 30 seconds, and that's the last thing I remember until the nurse was talking to me and trying to get me to wake up.

Matt says they told him that I went out more quickly than they expected, and took longer to wake up; I did answer honestly about my height and weight, galling as that was, so maybe I'm just more sensitive? I'd much rather go to sleep earlier than too late, though! Matt and Little Bear joined me in the room then, or maybe they were there as I woke up? It's fuzzy. I know that the nurse kept telling me that I had to keep my eyes open, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep... Matt tells me that Little Bear kept trying to grab my IV, but I don't even remember it still being in or when they took it out. I do remember the nurse bringing in a wheelchair to take me out to the car once everyone was satisfied that I wasn't going to go unconscious again.

I forced myself to eat a little bit of yogurt and a finely-diced slice of peach, drink some water, and take ibuprofen, then lay down with Little Bear on the crib mattress that Matt dragged out to the living room for us and we both took a good nap. I felt a million times more alert after, but I still felt tired and achey and puffy, and I know that will last several more days. Semiliquid foods are my friends right now: my amazing, wonderful husband made me tapioca pudding for dinner, even though he can't stand the stuff, after the pasta he'd made at the nurse's suggestion wound up being too painful for me to eat! Yogurt and ice cream have worked well too, and if we (or he, if I look like a chipmunk) go to town this afternoon, I may ask for applesauce. I made stewed rhubarb ahead of time, but I'm kind of afraid it will be too acidic... Anyone have any experience with that?

Yes, I should be appalled that I only ate sweetened dairy products yesterday, but somehow it just doesn't seem worth the effort. We'll blame the Vicodin. Vicodin is such a convenient scapegoat... it took the fall for me on several loopy conversations last night, like when we were wondering aloud what horrendous fashion trends we might be subjected to when Little Bear is 16, and solemnly warning the kid that if he shaves his head and gets fiberoptic hair implanted, the government will be able to control his hair color without his consent... Honestly, what if they had the ability to change the hair color of a suspected criminal red and turn everyone else's hair blue? That police chase wouldn't last long. And then hackers would be able to set their enemies up for arrest really easily!

Yep, blame the Vicodin. And my new lack of wisdom. I'm going to take a nap.

27 June 2013

Seven Quick Takes, Vol. 37

Linking up as usual with Jen of Conversion Diary!

This week's post is going up early because at 7:30 am Friday I'll be on my way in to oral surgery. All four wisdom teeth are coming out; the bottom two are partially erupted but don't have enough room to come farther through, and the top two are impacted and pushing the other molars out of alignment. I'm getting general anesthesia, which has me pretty skittish right now... You're going to stick a big needle in my arm and make me pass out? For over an hour? And I'm supposed to trust that everything will be fine. So, so, very not okay. Pray for me? I know, intellectually, that it's not really a big deal and thousands of people probably get anesthesia every day and are just fine... but that knowledge isn't really helping with the emotional response.

Matt is more optimistic than I about the coming weekend and Little Bear... If anyone has suggestions for handling an almost-walker while you're on Vicodin recovering from surgery and anesthesia, I'm all ears!

I am well convicted of the folly of my complaining about the heat yesterday... I was effectually saying, "The weather could not be more miserable," and so of course I had to be corrected today. The heat didn't go away, but a dense pall of smoke settled over town last night from a wildland fire an hour or so south of us. A nice breeze picked up mid-morning and eventually dispelled most of the smoke, fortunately: we had planned to go to a pig roast at some friends' house this evening, and wouldn't have been able to if it was too smoky.

We were fortunate to have such a clear June, honestly. Because the snow stayed so long and then melted all at once, everything was saturated longer than we could have reasonably expected, and it's only logical that our past few weeks of abnormally hot weather and constant sun have dried things to the point of wildland fires catching easily. There are currently 99 wildland fires active across the state, and they are catching quickly: 22 were reported yesterday. The fire south of town is still far enough from the highway that it hasn't been closed, but the fire service warns travelers to expect long delays and is providing pilot cars to guide motorists through areas with heavy smoke. 

Still, the heavy onset of fire season has been rough; we heard about some of the local fires from our pastor this evening--he also serves as chaplain to the local fire crew and state troopers--and it sounds like they have been working around the clock. He was glad that the borough is banning even the sale of fireworks for the Fourth of July, because with everything so dry, having hundreds of people heading out to lakes in the woods and shooting off fireworks is just asking for trouble! For those who have some fireworks saved up from New Years or last summer, please, wait until we've had a good week of rain... Fireworks are fun, but not fun enough to justify risking our firefighters' lives if the sparks get out of control!

Alaskans aren't the only ones with non traditional names for the seasons, right? I know that some college friends from Michigan referred the warm part of their year as "construction season." You hear that here, too, but the first time the smoke from a wildfire rolls into town, many folks will start referring to summer as "fire season" as well. So in Alaska, we have: Winter, Breakup, Construction/Fire, and Hunting Season. 

On Saturday, we will celebrate the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, a solemnity! It is a holy day of obligation for the universal Church, but is not observed in the United States or Canada (or a number of other countries). I wish we could attend Mass, but I don't know that I'll be physically capable, and none of the parishes in our area celebrate daily Mass on Saturday, only the Sunday Vigil, so it would kind of count but not really. A piece of trivia for you: this solemnity is the day that newly-created archbishops receive their pallium from the pope. The pallium is a band "three fingers wide" woven from white wool which rests on the shoulders on top of the chasuble; it signifies their authority and union with the Holy See. Traditionally, the pallium is only worn for extraordinary events and exclusively during the liturgy.

Have a lovely weekend!

26 June 2013

Giving Up

I've tried for weeks, now, everything I can think of, and I just can't do it. I can't. I cannot be a functional human being in this heat. I give up.

We are in our third solid week of 80-95 degree days (at least--my brain has melted and I can't count anymore), in a city where no one has air conditioning because Alaska is supposed to make air conditioning unnecessary. I keep all of the shades closed to block out the sun, run the fan in whichever room we are sprawled on the floor, keep everyone drinking ice water, try not to make the child wear a shirt unless we have to go to town... We stay indoors as much as possible, making one brief daily trip through the sprinkler to the mailbox and back, and the water doesn't even have the decency to be cold. Little Bear cries and cries because he's so sweaty and uncomfortable, and I can't make it better by holding him because that makes both of us even warmer. I'm not cooking, not baking; everything is thrown in the crock pot or on the grill, or just eaten straight out of the freezer. And still the temperature rises... None of us have slept well in weeks, because it is so hot and sticky. I cannot think of anything else to do to make the apartment a live-able temperature... Should I start "decorating" with bowls of ice all over the place? Keep the freezer door open 24/7 (and ignore the electric bill)?

I don't even know what "giving up" means in this situation... but it can't stay like this, it just can't. I need to have enough sanity left to take care of Little Bear and the house while dealing with the pain from having all four wisdom teeth removed on Friday morning, and if I can't even function now, what will happen then?

23 June 2013

What I Wore Sunday {20}

Linking up as usual with Fine Linen and Purple for WIWS.

It seems like the longest weekend of the year ought to be at least three days, doesn't it? With the Summer Solstice on Friday, we are at peak sunlight this weekend: the sun technically set at 12:47 this morning and rose at 2:59, but "set" means that the lower edge of the sun scraped along the horizon. To anyone up that late (Little Bear and I!) it just looked like the sun went around in a circle without ever setting. Blackout curtains notwithstanding, the past few nights have never really gotten dark. It is marvelous.

Marvelous, and hot. I learned my lesson last week, and traded in the long sleeves for cap sleeves this morning! Even so, I felt guiltily grateful for Little Bear's fussiness this morning which gave me cause to go out of the packed church and down to the cool basement to feed him. Between Matt and I, we spent at least half of Mass out in the narthex or basement with him... I guess I have to give him a B+ for behavior, since he was still and quiet for the first half in the church proper and any part of the second half when we took him somewhere less hot. I understand, child; I think heat is miserable too.

This morning we had a substitute priest, visiting from the Diocese of Orange, California. I'm glad that our pastor was able to get some help; he usually has four weekend Masses to cover himself, five when the Air Force base doesn't have a Catholic chaplain. And he had to be tired this morning, because he ran in a 10k race that started at 10pm last night (the appropriately-named Midnight Sun Run). 

Don't tell anyone, but today's outfit is actually a repeat from Friday... I wore this to our friends' wedding, loved it, realized that no one who saw me on Friday would see me today, and couldn't resist.

Straw hat: Fred Meyers
Shirt: thrifted
Skirt: Sears
Shoes: borrowed from my sister
Purse: Fred Meyers
Nails (which you probably can't see): Sally Hansen Tough As Nails #310, which is definitely brighter than the nice orangey-pink that it looks like it should be! Be warned :-)

21 June 2013

Seven Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 36

Linking up with Jen of ConversionDiary.com for this week's quick takes!

After two+ weeks of hot sunny weather, we woke up this morning to rain and low 60s. It's a pleasant change, but I sure do feel badly for complaining about the heat now, because two of our friends are getting married this afternoon and they were hoping for an outdoor reception! It's still early... Hopefully it will clear up and get warm for them.

This probably should have come before my grousing about the weather, but will you join me in praying for our friends getting married today, and other friends marrying tomorrow? June sure seems to be the month for weddings! And with the many difficulties newly married couples have to contend with today, they can certainly use our prayers!

Thinking about weddings and marriage, this is old and you've probably already seen it, but I just discovered this video of Kimberly Hahn speaking about leadership in marriage and it's very good--It certainly made me consider how we live leadership in our family.

Yesterday morning as I was running around the grocery store, I fell prey to marketing. "Only $1.99!" the bright yellow sign screamed. $1.99 for what? I wondered, heading over and noticing the rows upon rows of brightly-colored vials. Ah... nail polish. Wouldn't that be fun? I could have pretty nails for the wedding tomorrow... Mom and my sisters have had such fun nails recently... Before I knew it, I'd talked myself into putting a bottle in the cart. Me, the one who hasn't had her nails painted in goodness knows how long--Matt has never seen me wear nail polish, even when we were dating! I certainly didn't do anything with them for our wedding... But I guess you never forget how to paint your nails, right?

Not only can you forget how to paint your nails (or at least, paint them more neatly than a third-grader), but you can also definitely forget how badly those color swatch charts lie in purporting to illustrate what color your nails will turn out. I'm planning to wear a flowery blouse in pinks, oranges, and a rich plum purple, and the nail polish I picked up declared itself a shimmering orangey-pink. Perfect! Then I got home, painted my nails distractedly while playing ball with Little Bear, held up my drying nails to admire them... and stared in horror at my hot pink sparkly fingers. And toes. I look like my five-year-old sister picked out my nail polish. And since I haven't painted my nails in eons, what don't I own? That's right; nail polish remover.

I slipped out to the front step this morning while Little Bear was playing with trucks to plant two basil plants, naively hoping that he wouldn't notice for the whole two minutes that I'd be outside. When will I learn? I don't think I even had the plants out of the 6-pack before he was standing at the door, banging on the glass and yelling for me to let him come play in the dirt with me. Being the loving mother that I am, I held the storm door closed with my knee while stuffing the poor basil plants into the pot and trying to convince him to sit down or crawl away from the door. It took a good five minutes to get him to take his weight off the door so I could open it without him falling out. Teaching your children to walk is so overrated...

Physical therapy for my shoulder seems to be going well--it's actually helping, which honestly surprised me since it's been this way for so long that it feels normal. The tentative diagnosis is multidirectional instability (MDI), which has a 90% complete correction rate with six months of physical therapy. So that's good news. Unfortunately, it doesn't provide any immediate answers about my hip, because MDI is specifically atraumatic instability of the shoulder, but it does offer hope that strengthening muscles in my hip would help reduce that pain.

Have a lovely weekend!

19 June 2013

Breakfast of Champions

Champion whats? No idea.

Now I have always been a die-hard "vanilla is the best ice cream ever" girl, but last night, we discovered Kroger's Deluxe Triple Brownie. 

Oh my word. 

Vanilla, you have been replaced.

Ripples of fudge and chewy chunks of brownie swirl through chocolate ice cream... But not chocolate chocolate ice cream: it's not too heavy, not too densely chocolate. A very pastel brown, a light milk chocolate flavor. This is amazing and delicious and the best possible antidote to a humid 93-degree day in a city without air conditioning. Because honestly, what else can you eat in such miserable temperatures?

In related news, nothing is getting turned on in our apartment today as I attempt to ruthlessly cut out even the smallest heat emissions: no lights, no appliances, nothing. I will throw some sausages on the grill for dinner, but I'm not sure what we will eat with them because I'm not boiling water in my kitchen for rice or pasta, and I'm definitely not firing up the oven for bread or potatoes! 

18 June 2013

Thoughts on Marriage

This weekend, several pairs of our good friends will celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony. We are so happy for them, and excited that the number of Catholic married couples our age that we know will be doubling! As they've gotten close to the wedding date, though, it seems that more people have been discouraging than supporting these couples. I don't know if any of them will see this, but even if not, I want to get my thoughts in order in case I have a chance to say something to one of the naysayers.



Matt and I are so very happy for you, and we hope you will let us know if there is anything at all we can do to help you. I'm sure you already know this (or we wouldn't be here), but being married is pretty great... Our first two years have been so full of unexpected joys and opportunities to grow, and I can't wait to watch you experience it for yourselves. I know that you've been hearing a lot of "why don't you just wait another year" recently, a lot of "it would be better if..."  And I know that you have put many months of prayer and discernment into getting to where you are today, and believe that you're doing the right thing, but I know too how disheartening those voices can be, so I wanted to add my voice and tell you: They are wrong. 

Waiting until you finish school will not give you a better marriage. Waiting until you both have professional jobs will not give you a better marriage. Waiting until you can afford the down payment on a house, or until you have $X in the bank, or until you are settled in the city where you want to live permanently will not give you a better marriage. There is only one thing that will give you a better marriage, and that is doing what God is calling you to.

People look at the painfully high divorce rate in our country, and worry about young couples rushing into marriage unprepared. They think they are being helpful by urging young couples to wait until they are older and more financially stable to marry. I know--we received many of the same comments you are getting during our engagement. The company Matt worked for folded a week after he proposed, and many people felt very strongly that he should go back to school for two years to get his Master's before marrying. Would it have hurt us to wait two more years? You've probably heard variations on this question yourselves, but I don't think that it is the right question to be asking. Was waiting two more years what God was asking of us? No, I don't believe that it was, and I trust that it's not what He is asking of you.

For some couples, I'm sure that waiting is the right response to God's plan for them, but that doesn't make it the right response for everyone. The Church needs more couples like you, solidly Catholic, well-prepared, willing to trust God and show others by your example that getting married young can be a part of God's plan. Will it be easy? Maybe, maybe not. God certainly could make it easy for you, but He may have something more challenging in mind to give you the opportunity to grow together through shared trials. Would waiting make marriage easier? Maybe, maybe not. No one can know what will happen over the next few years. But even if it was guaranteed to make marriage easier, simply choosing the easiest option is not a mark of true discernment; frequently, what God asks of us is not easy!

Listen to where God is calling you, and follow Him even when it's not easy. I said before that marriage is pretty great, but that definitely doesn't mean that the last two years have been a cake walk. It is worth it, though; I promise. Rely on God first, then each other, then the rest of us--even the naysayers do want what is best for you, although I know it doesn't always feel that way.

We are so happy for you, and so glad to be able to be here to support you as you begin your married life together! You have our prayers, and anything else we can do to help.

God bless you!

17 June 2013

What I Wore Sunday {19}

Joining the fun at Fine Linen and Purple with what we wore on Father's Day.

Alarm off. Take temperature. Morning offering. Feed baby. Check weather. One of these essential first steps didn't happen yesterday morning, and I wound up in a heavy, lined skirt and long-sleeved blouse on a humid 90-degree day in a church with no air conditioning. Yuck. I knew I should have set out an outfit the previous night while my brain was still on... I seriously lose the capacity for rational thought when it's hot and humid out.

Blouse: Sears
Cami: Fred Meyers
Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: Payless
Little Bear's outfit: thrifted

Poll: does he look like a girl in the blue and white checks? Matt thinks so.

Little Bear gets a B again this week for Mass behavior, although his daddy would tell you that I'm being unnecessarily generous. I felt sorry for the little guy though, with it being so uncomfortably hot, and his only real meltdown happened when we were already in the cry room with the door closed, so it didn't distract anyone else... A little girl about his age crawled over to where he was sitting on a kneeler--being good and quiet--and grabbed his hand and smiled at him, and he burst into tears and backed away from her. Okay, I get it, it's nap time.

We celebrated Father's Day low-key this year... Little Bear and Matt both got naps after Mass, we gave Matt a package of Lebanon Bologna because he's been on a specialty sausage kick recently, and Matt grilled moose burgers in the evening. Nothing exciting, but a quiet day to relax is always nice.

14 June 2013

Seven Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 35

Happy Friday! Linking up with Jen over at Conversion Diary today.

How do the weeks go by so quickly without me accomplishing anything? It seems like it's all I can do to keep the house clean, the meals cooked, and the child somewhat happy, despite the teeth that just keep coming. It's summer! I want to be outside doing fun things with my family--hiking, planting, playing at parks, making spontaneous trips to fun places around town--but it's always nap time or raining or we are all too tired from... from what? The basic chores that by rights should take a half hour a day? I don't know.

To be fair, I've spent an absurd amount of time in doctors' waiting rooms over the past few weeks, which has eaten up my days and delayed naps and generated plenty of stress. Our insurance's fiscal year restarts on July 1, so we are trying to keep as many medical procedures as we can in June so that insurance will cover them. Which means that I'll be getting all four wisdom teeth out on June 28... yay... Matt is taking off that day (a Friday) and the following Monday to take care of Little Bear while I'm recovering, for which I am very grateful.

We are standing! Little Bear can go from sitting or crawling to standing up without holding anything or using anything to pull himself up. No walking yet--he just stands there clapping and looking proud of himself--but he is standing for longer periods every day. It is so much fun to watch as he keeps learning and growing!

...And growing, and growing, and growing... The boy is 21 pounds, much bigger than any of my mom's kids were at his age! I know he's actually no more than average for kids in the U.S., but I'm so accustomed to smaller babies that he seems really big. And I know that it is healthy weight, muscle and bone and such, because he is so active and would spend every waking minute moving if I didn't occasionally corral him to sit still and listen to stories. Because he is my first, though, and everyone likes to tell new moms what to do, and because one of the pediatric buzzwords these days is "childhood obesity," there is a part of me that's cringing as we get ready for his 12 month appointment, worried that some nurse will only look at numbers instead of at my kid crawling all over the exam room and start lecturing me. Unreasonable? Yes, probably.

We are all getting impatient for him to turn one so that we can put him in a forward-facing car seat; I found a fairly new one in good condition at a garage sale last weekend, and it cleaned up very nicely with a bit of Simple Green. He has well and truly outgrown his rear-facing seat: His head comes above the top, and his knees are scrunched up because his feet hit the seat back. This makes him unhappy, which makes all of us very unhappy on our hour-long drive to and from Sunday Mass. The new car seat is a convertible one, so we could put it in backwards now... but it wouldn't really solve the problem because his legs are so long, and the sides are much higher than the one he is in now, so he wouldn't be able to see out the window.

Part of my productivity problem, I've determined, is that Little Bear wants to sleep on my lap. He falls asleep nursing, and if I lay him down in his crib or on a blanket, he will sleep for fifteen minutes to a half hour at the very, very most. If I let him sleep on me, he will stay asleep for several hours. Several hour nap = happy child = happy but unproductive mama. But if he's unhappy I'm unproductive too, because he wants to be held while he whines incessantly, and I'm pretty sure happily unproductive trumps unhappily unproductive. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm just committed to being unproductive until he learns to sleep in his own bed? Is this resignation or a cleverly disguised excuse for laziness? Don't answer that.

Today is the "spiritual birthday" (birth into eternal life) of one of my favorite lay writers: G. K. Chesterton. I could fill reams with "favorite" quotes from his extensive work, but here are two for your weekend:

What fairy tales give the child is his first idea of the possible defeat of the bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
- Tremendous Trifles

Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilization, what there is particularly immortal about yours?
- The Napoleon of Notting Hill

13 June 2013

The Things We Say

Oh, parenthood. How many times have Matt or I said something to Little Bear, then realized how incredibly absurd it sounded? Maybe eventually things like this will stop sounding so odd...

Who keeps putting Cheerios in my dishwasher?

Small human, stop licking the bathroom cabinets.

That is your mess to play with, and this is Mama's.

Mmm, did you find a Cheerio on the floor? Those are the best, aren't they?

Daddy doesn't eat socks.

I don't care how many times you throw the octopus; you aren't getting in the shower.

Do we play in dishwashers? No we do not.

I imagine it will only get worse for the next few years as he grows and learns how to do more things... If he's anything like my siblings (and therefore probably me), the first few years will see him starring in an astonishing number of "How did you even come up with that?!?" moments. And Matt and I will get lots of practice at not laughing when he does something he shouldn't and it turns out hilariously poorly.

It's a good thing we have the ability to think back on past events and laugh... there are plenty of things, and I'm sure there will be plenty more, that seemed so awful and frustrating at the time but are funny in retrospect. Getting my mom's car stuck in the snow on top of a mountain the night Matt proposed. Someone backing into our car the day after we got it back from the shop. Little Bear unwinding an entire roll of toilet paper all over the bathroom and down the hall.

As my mother always reminded us growing up, "Someday you'll look back at this and laugh." And we do. And we will, in the future, about those things Little Bear does that make us crazy today. God is so good to have given us that gift!

10 June 2013

What I Wore Sunday {18}

Linking up late with Fine Linen and Purple's What I Wore Sunday and Camp Patton's Sunday Best.

Our parish has about 400 families, and 500 children. And, as our pastor put it yesterday morning, sometimes we can all tell. He made a point of addressing the subject of children in Mass, emphasizing that children are welcome and that it's necessary for parents to bring their children, not leave them at home or keep them in the cry room where they won't bother anyone. Parents should be bringing their children and only taking them out when they need to be calmed down, he said, and all of the adults in the parish need to make sure they are modeling appropriate Mass behavior so that children will not have poor examples. He encouraged parishioners without young children to be aware of the difficulties parents may be having and offer help instead of becoming annoyed; many young families come from the Air Force base, and he reminded people that it is absurd to frown upon a mom bringing four little ones to Mass by herself while Dad is deployed and not being able to keep them all silent all the time. 

Little Bear was an excellent example of a kid having trouble being good and quiet... All through this homily, he was crawling around the narthex and playing on the stairs because every time I picked him up, the piercing shrieks began again. I apologized to Father after Mass, and he just laughed and said that illustrations are always good. Little Bear gets a B this week, because other than our time in the narthex during the homily, he was quiet and well-behaved enough to stay in the pew. Well, until the tambourine during the recessional, but I didn't mind him expressing my feelings about that. ;-)

What did you do for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart on Friday? Little Bear and I made it to Mass at my parents' parish, which is echoey and lacking in small children, so we spent most of Mass in the cry room to avoid bothering people. He was very happy about that, because there was a little girl about his size to make faces at. In the evening, after picking Matt up from work, we visited my family and enjoyed these feast day-appropriate treats:

Aren't they fun? My mom is so good at coming up with things like that!

And finally, the point of the linkup: the outfit. I have no idea what I was looking at here...

Top: grey lightweight sweater, thrifted
Skirt: navy pencil skirt with white polkadots, thrifted
Shoes: black wedge Mary Janes, thrifted

Looking at the photo, I don't think the sweater was the best choice. What kind of top could I pair with this skirt to make it work better? There is a thin red band about two inches below the waist, currently hidden by the sweater, which would have to be taken into account if I tucked something in... I'd love suggestions!

07 June 2013

Seven Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 34

Linking up at the end of another week with Jen of Conversion Diary! 

Today has been partly sunny and warmish all day long, which is a welcome respite from the past four days' bipolar switching between hot & sunny and cold & pouring every thirty minutes. Since I couldn't trust the weather to hold steady, Little Bear and I didn't get a good walk in all week... Yes, I'm totally blaming the sky for my laziness. Shush. We will make up for it tomorrow, though: Matt's coworker lent him the P90X program, and we are doing the ab workout tomorrow morning.

The jeep went in to the shop on Monday to take care of the damage from the lady rear-ending it at a stop sign a month ago. It was supposed to be done today, but they called yesterday to let us know that the damage was more extensive than they'd thought, and it would be at least an extra week. As long as the lady's insurance doesn't whine about paying for our rental car for the extra week, I don't mind. Actually, they can whine as much as they want to, as long as they pay for it! Allstate has an agreement with Enterprise, specific to Alaska (sorry), that they will pay for a "comparable" rental vehicle instead of a "reasonably-sized" car. When we got to Enterprise on Monday morning, though, Allstate had only authorized a tiny little car, and we have a small SUV. And I have to say, I think the world of Enterprise: the lady helping us got on the phone with Allstate and argued her way up the chain of command until she got someone willing to actually look at the rules about Alaska and approve upgrading us. I am definitely enjoying driving this 2012 Jeep Liberty!

Sometimes "good news" test results actually aren't all that helpful... Three doctors have now looked at my MRI results, and they all say that it looks great! Nothing's wrong! Except, hmm, something obviously is wrong, I've never seen anything like it, you'd better go see another doctor. I'm now on the hunt for a physical therapist, and am supposed to report back to the orthopedic surgeon in a month. Gee, I wish they were doing all of this work to fix my hip, which actually hurts, instead of my shoulder which is apparently much more medically interesting... I shouldn't complain; I know everyone is trying to figure out what's going on in my shoulder to try to explain what is happening with the rest of my joints.

Little Bear and I had quite the morning in town today, and it made me look forward (happily) to having fun with him as he gets a little older. After dropping Matt off at work, we went to a little coffee shop and shared a Greek yogurt and an oatmeal cookie (oatmeal = breakfast, right?) until we had to head to the orthopedic surgeon's at 9. After that we read stories at the library for a good forty-five minutes, then spent almost that long playing on the swings and slides at a nearby park before visiting the parish where Matt and I were married for the rosary and noon Mass. It was such a fun, relaxed morning, and it was so nice to be doing things that made Little Bear happy instead of dragging a grumpy kidlet from one errand to the next. It also wore him out, and he fell asleep in the car on the way home!

Unfortunately, he woke up when I turned the car off, and it took an hour of chasing him around the house while he tore things apart and created multitudes of messy diapers before he went back down. Oh, well... He has pretty much transitioned himself to one nap a day (against my wishes - he's only 11 months!), so I should be grateful that he fell back to sleep at all.

Dry shampoo. 
So the other day, I found out last-minute-ish-ly that a friend wanted to stop by, and without thinking about it, agreed. "Sure! I'll see you in 20." I hung up, looked in the mirror, looked at the kid, looked at my house. Whoops. The kid needed to be changed, the house looked like a pintsized tornado had been merrily wandering from room to room all day, and my hair... well, I was not fit to be seen in public. Or seen at all. In 20 minutes, I could either clean up after Little Bear or shower--not both (the diaper was obviously getting changed, which ate up five minutes with trying to keep the angry naked pintsized tornado contained until he had a clean diaper on...). The house won.
With a couple of minutes remaining, house straightened, clean child hanging onto my knees and waving a stuffed trout around in his mouth, I remembered hearing someone once mention dry shampoo. Dry, as in no shower? That would've been nice... then I googled it and had a minor heart attack over the price they wanted for a minuscule bottle of scented cornstarch. But I have cornstarch... 
Yes, yes I did comb cornstarch through my hair. And was shocked at how well it worked. Apparently too shocked to think straight, because I was silly enough to tell my husband, who was more than a little amused at the lengths women go to  for fashion. "Why couldn't you have just put a hat on?" Men.

It was phenomenally useful, but I can't even imagine spending that much money for "real" dry shampoo, but if (when) I run into a situation like that again I don't need him laughingly telling the baby about Mama putting food in her hair... at least I didn't use powdered sugar! We don't have any talcum powder or anything like that... If I just fill an empty pretty bottle with cornstarch, label it "dry shampoo," and stick it in the bathroom, will my husband figure it out? Or has anyone actually made their own "real" dry shampoo?

Have a lovely weekend! A blessed Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus today, and Immaculate Heart of Mary tomorrow!

03 June 2013

Menu and Monday

Even though I haven't exactly done a stellar job of actually posting these on Mondays so far, it's been a good discipline to have that nagging expectation in the back of my mind that I will plan the week's menu on or by Monday. We have lovely, cooler weather for at least the first part of the week--50s and 60s--so I don't mind planning meals that require the stove and oven. If it gets hot again, though, some of these will likely change:

Monday: calzones, salad 
Tuesday: chicken/roasted vegetable flatbread 
Wednesday: pork stir fry, brown rice, salad
Thursday: pasta con salsiccia, broccoli 
Friday (Solemnity of the Sacred Heart): dinner with my family 
Saturday (Immaculate Heart of Mary): pork chops, salad, muffins?
Sunday: halibut, baked beans, salad (trying again - last Friday was too hot!)

Aaand, the rest of my post disappeared, and it's not even Tuesday anymore, and I'm not going to try to recreate it right now! Hopefully I'll have a real post up tomorrow.

02 June 2013

What I Wore Sunday {17}

Linking up with the lovely ladies of Fine Linen and Purple and Grace of Camp Patton to celebrate Corpus Christi! Or the Second Sunday after Pentecost, if you celebrated Corpus Christi on Thursday. I know I'm usually unhappy when they move feast days to Sunday, but this one doesn't bother me so much: It isn't one that is supposed to fit with others numerically, like the Ascension being ten days after Pentecost or the Annunciation being exactly nine months before Christmas. If moving Corpus Christi doesn't mess up any other numbers, and gives more people the ability to celebrate this particular emphasis on the True Presence, then I can support it.

Our pastor gave an excellent homily, as usual, although I missed half of it changing a diaper... Matt tells me that I missed a lot, so I will have to go listen to the recording when Father posts it. I'm so glad that he does that every week! It certainly helps on days like today, where one or the other of us spends most of the liturgy walking around the narthex with the noisy child.

In the spirit of Grace's linkup, I suppose I should start "grading" Little Bear's behavior during Mass; today was a solid C. He was quiet and still through the gospel, but as soon and Father began his homily, he stopped pretending to be a well-behaved child and began fussing and crawling under the pew behind us until Matt picked him up and noticed that he was wet, and I took him out to change him. I'd give him a better grade for having a legitimate reason for fussing, but he decided that he wanted to stay in the narthex and yelled whenever we tried to bring him back in, so Matt took him out until Communion, and then I spent the rest of Mass out there with him.

The child looked different this week: He had his first real (with the clippers) haircut on Friday evening! I cut Matt's hair first so that Little Bear could see that it wasn't a scary thing, but it didn't work... he cried the whole time Matt's hair was being cut, even though Matt kept reassuring him that everything was okay. We wound up giving in and putting him in front of a show while Matt held him and he cried and I cut his hair. He wasn't unhappy enough to take his eyes off the screen while I cut his hair, though, so some of the protesting may have been more a matter of principle...

I'll miss those curls... They will be back this winter, though, to keep his head warm!

Yesterday I made a trip to the thrift store with my mom and two sisters, and I finally found some fun, nursing-friendly things for summer! Including today's outfit:

Top: thrifted 
Capris: thrifted
Sandals: these are wedge flip flops from Walmart years ago, but for Mass I wore the Payless sandals from last week

Have a lovely week!