Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

I've spent the morning discussing bones and spine and stomachs with Sadie.  She'd been asking lots of questions about bones lately, and then found a deer vertebrae outside, which led to a discussion about nerves and how we feel things and her repeatedly showing Patrick the vertebrae, although I'm drawing the line at her attempting to give it to him to play with.

Oh and there was this conversation that inspired the discussion on spines:

Me:  "What do you think the deer did?  Do you think he had adventures?"
Sadie:  "I think he died."
Me:  "But before he died.  Do you think he lived in the forest and ran around?"
Sadie:  "I think his cord got broken."
Me:  "His cord?" (I had a feeling I knew what she meant, but asked just to be sure.)
Sadie:  "His cord!   Here." (She turned around and pointed to the middle of her back)  "His cord."

Then I brought up the index for Grey's Anatomy (the book, not the show) and we looked at pictures of muscles and bones and stomachs until she was ready to go back to playing.

Later on I heard her say to Nani:
"Do you think Puddy got him."  Followed by:  "Maybe it was a bear."

Or a mountain lion.  With the cuts we've seen on the horses recently (like two days ago) my money is on the lion.

--- 2 ---

I'm really limping out of the Easter season when it come to remembering that it's Friday and that we don't eat meat on Friday.  Have we not been going meat-less on Friday for years now and the short weeks of the Easter season somehow completely erased that memory?

In the past two weeks I'm 0 for 2 in the remembering department.  And then I see a friend mentioning meatless Friday and it's always two seconds (slight exaggeration) after eating the hearty breakfast that Grumpa made (can I blame not knowing what day it is on "traveling"?) and now I'm going to have to come up with a new Friday penance and not forget that it's Friday again before bedtime, which means I need to do it quick.  Because forgetting that it's Friday is likely to happen in 3... 2... 1...

--- 3 ---

Maggie's talking more and more, to which I say:  Finally.

Because talking means that there are days without tantrums now, in between the days when we cry for 3 hours because a button doesn't look right, or is buttoned crooked or has come undone because she pulled at it for fifteen minutes to have something to cry about (or because Mama said "Fine.  Give me that cardigan.  If it's going to make you cry all day it's going into the laundry room and the door is going to be shut.").

But tantrum days are becoming fewer and further as she greets me in the morning with statements like:  "Ya.  I want blueberries."

Oh sweet little toddler words.

--- 4 ---

And #3 is an especially good thing because I don't feel like I'm going to get nearly as much mileage out of saying "she's three" with wide eyes, as I did when I say "she's two" when she's melting down about the cardigan, or her boots, in a public place.

Two year olds have such a reputation that those words garner instant understanding by many.  But three?

It's time to straighten out kid.  (Why yes, I am living in a dream world at the moment... It might be the result of yesterday being a "let's see if I can climb the china hutch" sort of day...)

--- 5 ---

I will use a tale of our time at Turtle Bay, earlier this week, as a sign of progress however.  You see, we got to the giant fish tank and Mae watched the fish for ten minutes and then I looked down and saw that she had dropped to the ground and was taking her shoes off.

I know what this means.  Mae lives to have her shoes glued to her feet.  But if she sees a swimming pool she's sitting down and yanking her boots of her feet and throwing them to the side as if she hopes never to see them again.

I looked at her and said:  "No, we're not going swimming" and waited for the water works.  Instead she paused, looked around, and put her shoes back on.

And I nearly fell over from surprise.

--- 6 ---

Today I should finish the very last of the orders that I didn't finish before I left California.  I will breath a sigh of relief.  And then I will begin sewing new dresses for Sadie, who has finally gotten too tall for her 6x dresses, and jumpers for Maggie, which I hope will discourage her from stripping down and running around while her sister says things like: "She's naked as a jay bird!"

I scanned the ironing board last night and wondered if it was weird that I travel with at least ten yards of fabric, while I'm supposedly taking a vacation from sewing for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long.

I'm not good at vacations.  Not good at vacations at all.

--- 7 ---

Patrick has reached the distractible baby age where apparently I'm not allowed to read while he's nursing.  

Last night I was trying to get him to nurse to sleep, because apparently without his beloved playpen in the kitchen with the sound of the dishwasher and oven fan, he just can't sleep.  In Michigan he generally goes down easily, often on his own, and sleeps for 4-8 hours at a time.  Since we've been in California I'm lucky if he sleeps for half an hour at a time...he's looking for excuses to wake up... and he's not about to go to sleep on his own.  

So I settled down with a book I found when we arrived here (since I realized upon arriving that I'd left my planned reading/reviewing material in Michigan) and began to read Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset, which I apparently left during our last visit last summer, but which I'm finding, now that I'm 90 pages in, is much harder to put down.  And Patrick, whose eyes were closed, heard the quiet turning of the page and whipped his little head around and hit the book with his hand.  After repeating this several times I finally mastered the art of silently turning the page (or he was finally deeply sleeping so he didn't wake).  But yeah.  New baby milestone.  Not wanting mommy to read while nursing!  It happens every time, although it's one baby milestone I wouldn't mind skipping!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Turtle Bay Edition

We took the girls to one of our favorite places in California, Turtle Bay Exploration Park.  We've been there many, many times, but this trip was special, because it's been almost a year, and it was Patrick's first trip.  And it was extra fun because Mae was old enough to realize what a special place it is.  

Today's pictures are all from our adventure at Turtle Bay:


She really didn't want to leave the hatching area.

They were so excited to see the turtles...

Can you tell what a joy it is to walk with Mae who lunges, jumps and collapses every few steps?

Sadie visiting her favorite truck.


She insisted she was bigger than the largest bat:

She asked:
"Are there very brave people who hunt mosquitoes?"

This was hardly surprising.  At least I brought extra clothes:

And:  "Mommy, was God very strong to make that?"


These pictures capture the part of the day when Sadie decided that her little sister really wasn't wet enough:

Patrick didn't want to take his eyes of Maggie.

She realized that if she got the water going above Mae, it would go down the plank and soak her and it wasn't really "splashing" her sister...

And Mae?  She's our little day dreamer... she day dreams a lot!  And playing in the water was no different!

Head over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {phfr}

Theme Thursday: Self Portrait

I was pretty sure that I was all ready for Theme Thursday today, which is to say, I hadn't yet looked at the topic, but I took about a thousand pictures this week and I figured one of them would fit whatever the topic happened to be.

Then I saw the topic.  Self portrait.  And I was all:  "Cari!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!  Anything but that."

And I considered using the picture from after I chopped my own hair off a few months ago... but then I decided that since I just "successfully" cut my bangs again, a second time (at least for this round/decade of "let's play beauty shop"), and I like the length better now than I did then, I might as well give it a try.

Of course I went over and checked out a bunch of the other pictures, which were all awesomely beautiful, and wondered why there were so many up, since it was before 7am and I'm almost always one of the first ones to arrive at the linkup party, before realizing that I'm in the Pacific time zone now, and it's not nearly as easy to be early.

Then I gave up stalling and used my computer to snap a few pictures.  Okay, let's be honest.  A lot of pictures.  I was still in my pajamas, but I opened the drawer by the side of the sink and saw a lipstick that was mine, from 2006, when I was a newly wed cheerleading coach, that apparently didn't make the move to Florida or Michigan and thought "Oh look!  A new lipstick!" (because when it comes to makeup "new" is apparently makeup purchased sometime in the two years before my first child was born... at least it is if I haven't seen in a good long while) and I decided to go bold with the bright red that I was hardly ever bold enough to wear, even when it really was new.

I thought it might detract from the Mae-was-up-last-night-from-1-am-until-4-am-and-Patrick-was-up-every-hour-nursing-because-he-doesn't-handle-change-or-new-teeth-very-well Bags that are under my eyes at the moment.  Then I went through:  Is one eye bigger than the other?  It looks bigger?  Is one determined to stay awake and the other is trying to go back to sleep?  Or is it that I just can't make them the same size when I smile?  Maybe if I tilt my head?  Maybe if I look up?  Maybe if I look down? And many other rounds of picture scrutinizing until I finally decided to call it a day and picked the ones that made me look less like a mom who's been up all night and more like a mom with kids who sometimes sleep for more than 60 minute stretches (I totally can't complain since they are all usually good sleepers at home).  Oh and I also decided to share some of the pictures from all the different looks I tried to look more awake, even if they weren't my favorites:

I think this one is actually my favorite.  Despite the sleepy eyes.

There.  I did it.  And since I've hardly taken pictures of my self in the recent past, since I'm almost always the one clicking away, that's what I look like up close now, not disguised by babies (and their baby-cuteness) hanging on me, like in the Sunday takes.  

Now head over to Cari's if you'd like more oh-my-goodness-is-this-really-this-morning's-theme Theme Thursday takes!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meanwhile at the Grocery Store...

This morning I was lamenting not having any blog inspiration (okay, lamenting might not be the right word, since it was in my head, to myself).  I've been catching up on my sleep after weeks without it, playing with the babies, spending time with the family and sewing the last few orders that are still waiting to go out.

Now I know... I absolutely know... that I should never, ever complain about being bored.  Because then something un-boring is more or less guaranteed to happen.  And let's face it, in this house, as often as not, it involves some sort trip to the emergency room where we learn words like "hair tourniquet" or find out how many people it takes to hold down a preschooler to see if she actually bit all the way through her tongue.  But I digress.

There was, thankfully, no ER trip today.

And several good things have happened.  Yes, I'll start with the good before I get to the crackpot scary...  I'm very excited to say that Paul just emailed me and said that a biohazard team is on it's way to our house to check out the damage from the sewer backing up, and while not really blog worthy, that made me seriously happy because it means that a) the sewer is fixed (it's been fixed for a while, but I am out of town) and b) I won't have to throw anything that touches the floor coming out of the dryer back into the washer.

In other news, the hospital called Paul again, and said the doctor's bill disaster would absolutely be taken care of.  They said that they had already called the doctor once and they would be calling him back again to make sure that he was dropping it, although at the moment I'm kind of in a place where I'll believe it when I see it, because we have heard that it's forgiven before and here we are facing a collections agency after not receiving a bill in a year and a half (the collections agency also received a super fun letter that allowed Paul to use some of his education up until this point while writing it, which I hope made them feel at least a tiny bit uncomfortable...).

Which brings me to the actual point of this post (in what? five paragraphs?) which was an incident that occurred when we were leaving the grocery store today.

Have you ever just felt like you're in the presence of evil?  I have in the past.  In my experience it's been an instinctual feeling, the involves a heavy leaden drop in the pit of my stomach, and a chill sweeping across the back of my neck, and the sudden inexplicable desire to get away from a person fast.

It hasn't happened often, I mean, it's been years... but today I encountered a man who definitely fit the bill.

My mom and I had just run into a friend in front of our small town grocery store when a car pulled up next to us.  At first I thought that he knew our friend and was saying hello.  Then I realized what was pouring out of his mouth.  It was a stream of filthy vicious hate filled language, which was directed, I guess, at me and the babies, since it included "scum bag blankety-blanking child molesters" towards the end of the rant... and let's face it the words "child molester" being used as an insult by the unbalanced are most often an insult directed at Catholics.

I was wearing this... minus the snood and the sweater...
I looked down.  No crucifix.  I was wearing an ankle length skirt with short sleeves, no headcovering.  The girls were in sun dresses.  We looked pretty normal.  Patrick had been playing with my scapular while riding along in the carrier, so it might have been untucked in the back... but he would have had to have incredibly good eyes to spot that from a moving vehicle.  All in all I have no idea what set it off.

But I do know that it was definitely directed at us.  This chubby, middle aged man with a car covered in bumper stickers, pulled off to the side in the parking lot in this small town with under four thousand people, and went out of his way to pull up next to us to curse and swear, before driving away, out of the parking lot.

What a strange, strange world we live in.

I'm struggling mentally to pray for this obviously unwell man, which is a struggle since instinct #1 was to want to punch him in the face (it's that whole mama bear with cubs thing I guess...).  So if you have a moment, toss up a prayer for him... He most certainly needs it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sadie's Saturday Morning Nun Talk: Part 5

I was so busy on the craft fair weekend that I completely forgot to post a Sadie Saturday morning post and this past Saturday it completely slipped my mind.  So here it is, three days late:

"Nani, you don't have to tuck me into bed.  I'm going to be a nun, not a princess."

These words were spoken by Sadie, who is asserting her independence at the moment by insisting that she can make her own bed (score!) and that she doesn't need to be tucked into it.  However, this didn't mesh well with Mae's sudden bedtime tears last night. When Nani went in to comfort her while I got Patrick back to sleep, Sadie said:  "Here, I'll turn the nightlight on so Mae can stop crying" because apparently Mae shouldn't need help either (that didn't work out).  This was followed by: "Nani could you give me a hug and a kiss after you get Maggie to sleep?" So apparently she isn't quite as independent as she'd have us all believe.

On our way to the Mass where she sat in the pew by herself and mostly followed along with the sit-stand-kneeling routine ("like a nun" in her own words), she sang The Lourdes Hymn and then, when I began to sing a Hail Mary said: "Hey, that's the prayer that I pray all the time!"

And then there was our conversation about Memorial day:

Me:  "Memorial day is on Monday.  It's the day when we remember the people who fought and died to keep our country free..."
Sadie (after a few questions): "Today is also a day when we remember Jesus and the angels..."
Me:  "Yes, today is a day when we remember Jesus.  It's always good to think of Jesus."
Sadie:  "And Mary.  It's always good to think of Mary."
Me:  "And Mary."

Of course when she went on to explain Memorial Day to Grumpa, something was lost in translation:  "'morial day is the day when all the soldiers die so that all of us can be free!" Not exactly... but I guess that's the four year old interpretation of my explanation.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Patrick's Baby Milestone: Standing!

I thought that Patrick's little milestone deserved it's own post.

He's pretty proud of himself at the moment.

He can stand up... although I'm still working as a spotter:

When his sister got closer he suddenly wanted a little more support.... He may have thought he was going to be knocked over...

And now he's back to working on crawling.  He's been having quite the day today. Tooth #2 broke through (which was as much fun as it sounds like) and he's still convinced that bunny hopping his back legs together is the best way to move forward.  He has managed a single crawling step forward... but then he falls over and when he tries to get up he goes backwards about three steps.

And all you have to do to get a super big smile is say: "Big Boy!" and he practically glows he's so proud of himself!

Week Ending: Memorial Day Edition (Volume 4)

I took far too many pictures this weekend and it was hard to prune them down for a single post!

There were a lot of Patrick smiles and the girls even slowed down a few times so that I could snap them in a non-blurry photo.

Here's our weekend in a (not so small) nutshell:

Patrick enjoyed his first time on a swing!

The girls had two days of fun in the pool... even though it really wasn't all that warm.  There was lots of shivering!

A rare moment: Mae actually smiled and held still when I took her picture!  And her eyes are open!

Patrick rocking his new hat.

Some time in the pool (without water)...


It's hard to work on crawling inside a baby pool...

Summer fun!

These guys (okay three does and one buck) spent the weekend right under the porch.
They may not have appreciated all the running baby steps above them...

Filling Patrick's pool.

Back from looking over the edge of the porch at the deer.

Morning time cuddles!

He loves that swing!
Ready to brave Mass... just the four of us...

Mae on her slide...

This may be my favorite Patrick smile ever.

Waiting for the ice cold water to fill the pool...

"Cheeeeeeeese!" (usually followed by "but Patrick's allergic to cheese!")
 And that was our weekend in photos.  For more weekend fun (and the cutest Princess Dress ever with an awesome Rapunzel braid) head over to Re-inventing Mother!