Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My garden

So I have been taking walks with the kids and walking in the neighborhood behind our apartment and there are so many beautiful gardens that I just had to have one of my own. So I went out and bought a bunch of flowers and pots and got our carpet VERY dirty one, in spite of my best efforts to work on a sheet. It's been very nice having a little nature on our place.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Smile

Every kid goes through a few years when there are no pictures of them smiling - only these tortured grimaces that they mistake for smiling when the camera is in front of them. Moses has been in that phase for several months and I thought a little collage would be in order. David's attempt at "the smile"
This was my "smile" - I thought it was so pretty to purse my lips together when I was about three. Every picture of me at this age looks like this one.

You can pick your friends...

I've heard that you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your friend's nose. Moses agrees with that saying but seems to be under the impression that he can pick his nose and feed his sister the's only happened once so far and hopefully my, somewhat exagerated, wretching noises got the point across that any behavior involving community consumption of snot and/or boogers is unacceptable in my culture.
I am having a much more difficult time getting the point across that he must cease and desist from his regularly scheduled "dig for gold" just before the kiss of peace at Mass. If you happen to be near us at Mass sometime take comfort in the fact that our little bottle of hand sanitizer gets much use these days.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mom - he's breathing on me!

I knew that things were going to get complicated with two kids. I've been anticipating Moses' acting-out to get the attention that was once lavished on him alone, I'm already expecting there to be many fights over toys and movies and such - there will undoubtedly be arguments over space and friends and other various matters. The main problem that I am facing right now with the "newly sibbed" sibling is that Moses seems to think that she's a toy - a really neat toy - but ultimately a toy for him to experiment with at his whim. Most of the time he's very gentle with her but occasionally I catch him: poking her eyes, squeezing her feet or hands, pushing her head, and yesterday I caught him stepping on her leg.

So, several weeks ago now I left Lily in my bedroom and went into the bathroom to complete some task that I had begun at least 4 times and had been interupted in the middle of 4 times. I made sure that Moses was in the living room - gainfully employed in some important train work. After a couple of minutes I hear a piercing "pain cry" coming from my bedroom and I run out of the bedroom yelling, "DON'T TOUCH HER!!! MOSES- YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!" Upon reaching the baby I saw no sign of Moses and thinking that he had heard the anger in my voice and hid behind my bed I ran over the the poor baby and began my inspection for any visible wounds. And there it was, her little hand - white knuckled - gripping a big chunk of her own dark hair in what looked like a desperate attempt to pull herself into a standing position. It took me a significant output of strength to release the grasp and as soon as I calmed her down I went to reassure Moses that he wasn't in big trouble. I'm sure the time will come when he will frequently get blamed for things that he didn't do but at least the evidence was clear in this case.
Note the large quantity of hair available for grabbing

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"poor child"

I'm learning about God as I experience being a parent. The other day Moses was in his naughty chair throwing a fit and I just couldn't help laughing at him - he takes himself so seriously. Really he's just such a silly guy, getting upset and screaming at the top of his lungs, turning beet-red in the face to express how much he disapproves of my reaction to his misbehavior. So this quote from Josemaria Escriva really hit home today. Maybe our failings are not so important - maybe I take myself too seriously and focus too much on my faults and struggles and not enough on God's mercy and love. I throw fits at God about this or that in life and He's probably chuckling up there at mistake is thinking that he takes me and my faults as seriously as I do.

"How often we have misbehaved and then cleared the frowns from our parents' brows, telling them: I won't do it any more! – That same day, perhaps, we fall again... – And our father, with feigned harshness in his voice and serious face, reprimands us, while in his heart he is moved, realizing our weakness and thinking: poor child, how hard he tries to behave well!
We've got to be filled, to be imbued with the idea that our Father, and very much our Father, is God who is both near us and in heaven. "
– St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, #267

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

ProLife Mitt

He seems to really be owning his newish pro-life stance. I'm personally getting more convinced of his genuine belief. He says:

"[w}hat some see as a mere clump of cells is actually a human life. Human life has identity. Human life has the capacity to love and to be loved. Human life has profound dignity, dignity undiminished by age or infirmity.”

And it's not only his words - the article goes on to cite some action that supports his words:

"As a result of this conversion, he stated that he publicly acknowledged his error. He sought to live up to his commitment to life by fighting to ban cloning and embryo farming. He sought to define life at beginning at conception rather than at implantation. Additionally, he supported abstinence education in schools."

Then regarding the judicial side of the problem he says: "Make no mistake: abortion and same-sex marriage are not rights to be discovered in the Constitution.”

Here's the rest of the article:

I guess that I would think this "conversion" more trustworthy if it had been accompanied by some deeper religous conversion also - but he was already Mormon. It just makes me wonder if he just uses the "religious man" as a political type - to convince true believers that his policy is based on principle, not just politics. I am doubting his commitment to Mormonism since he was simultaneously Mormon and Pro-Choice for so long. And when his level of commitment to his religion is questioned then it automatically brings into question his level of commitment to anything - especially the all-important pro-life topic. least he's been acting like a pro-life man recently, it certainly is better then just saying it, or not saying it in Guliani's case.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tunnel of Love

This is a card that my aunt was saving up for the next time I got pregnant after Moses. A Love-family special.

my new favorite picture

Real Simple - May

For Mother's Day David (I mean, Moses and Lily) gave me a subscription to Real Simple - a magazine with lots of ideas that are applicable to my life as a homemaker. There ideas like, use an old toilet paper roll to keep your hairties and bobbypins or clips organized and together. They also have easy dinner recipes and they try out different types of products and tell you which ones work the best, etc. I really enjoy the magazine and always have more ideas then I can remember to incorporate into my life. So, I've decided to pass along the wealth by including some of the ideas I glean from each month's issue. So, here's May's treasury:

1. Blow up a baby picture or a birth certificate and have it laminated to use as a special birthday placemat.
2. Use a fork to revive your carpet from those dents that furniture leave when you move it.
3. Put masking tape on the front of your vacuum cleaner to keep that black rubber from making black marks on your baseboards when you hit them.
4. They did a taste test of the Calcium Supplement Chews and Adora Clacium Dark Chocolate sounds the best.
5. Regarding the fit of clothing, "too tight is never right. Don't leave in it unless you can dance in it." - This is particularly useful advice to me since I am still a couple dozen pounds above my prepregnancy weight.
6. Apparently patent leather is in for the Spring (that is a MUST know)
7. How to make a moon-light garden. This totally made me think of any L.M Montgomery books. There's always a scene in a moon-lit garden. They suggest planting silvery or white plants and bringing out candles to enjoy your garden at night (when the kids are in bed and everything's finally quiet).
They especially suggest: White Wave petunias, Sweet alyssum, angel's trumpets (fragrant only after dark), Annabelle hydrangea, heliotrope, tuberous begonia, Cleome, fragrant nicotiana (flowering tobacco - don't let the kids chew on it - j.k)
8. Use a basket to put a plant in.
9. The best jarred applesauce is Ela Family Farms Organic Apples Aplenty. ($5 for 24 oz). Really there's nothing better then making it yourself. We are still plowing through all that we made last fall).
10. Best of all - a super easy doughnut recipe for Sunday mornings (or any other feast day).
Makes 8 doughnuts, plus holes
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 8-count package large refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a med. skillet over med.-low heat. Place the biscuits on a cutting board. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter or shot glass, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit, reserving the extra dough for "holes". Test the heat of the oil by dipping the edge of the doughnut in the pan. When the oil is hot enough, the edge will bubble. Place 4 of the doughnuts and holes in the skillet and cook until golden brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, reheat, and cook the remaining doughnuts and holes. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss the warm doughnuts in the mixture a few at a time. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sorry it was long - I guess I like my present!


Lately I've been taking Moses and the baby on walks. Sometimes he walks, sometimes he rides in the stroller or, best of all - he might ride his trike. The thing that is consistent about any kind of walk he takes is that he swings back and forth between complete focus and complete distraction. When he's walking he's running, when he is riding his bike he puts his head down very determinedly and pushes Flinstone style as fast as possible (I have to almost jog to keep up)...and then - suddenly - he's barely moving or at a dead-stop. The distraction is usually a dog but could also be a leaf, a drainage hole, other kids playing, a basketball hoop, a sprinkler (oh joy!), or a "big wa-wa" (a puddle). David pointed out that adults do this too but as drivers - we drive as fast as is legal (or a tad faster) to get somewhere but as soon as we see a car accident, a police pulling someone over or an interesting roadkill we slow down to a crawl to get the longest view possible. It's too bad that it's rarely as interesting as the things that Moses rubbernecks for. All in all I certainly enjoy taking walks more now with Moses around - he always notices the things that I just walk past otherwise.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Moses...An excess of life 2 1/2 he is filled with "an excess of life", as G.K. Chesterton describes toddlers. Shifting between adoring his little sister and despising her, his mood sometimes changing between seconds, he is giving me a run for my supervisory money. One minute he's kissing her and the next minute he hits her head (soft spots mean nothing to him) and the next he's cooing at her and holding her hand. My mom says that all of his emotions are mixed up in him and he simultaneously has really good feelings about her and really bad feelings about her - the evidence definitely bears that out.
As anyone who knows my little bug-boy is well-aware, he has a serious penchant for trains. My goodness, life revolves around Thomas, Percy, Gordon, etc, etc. He has managed to glean on his own, with no help from parents, the numbers 1-10 and the primary colors just from being playing with the trains. He knows all the trains by name, number and color far better then I do.
He also loves getting outside and riding his "boCCCKK" (notice the strong emphasis on the list sound) - bike, really his trike - around the neighborhood. The first time we took him out he pushed himself, Flinstone-style, around the neighborhood for over a mile and would have kept going, but being 9 months pregnant I was done long before he was.
I've loved every stage of his development and this is definitely one of my favorites so far - the "ilo-u's" (i love you) and the animated stories that he tells us just make us laugh all the time. He definitely has an "excess of life" and it spills over making my life a joy.

First ever blog we go

So, Maria Bremberg's blog inspired me to start a blog for our little family. I want to have a record for my babies to look back on and know the little daily happenings that fill our lives with such joy. Life has never felt so full and beautiful as it does right now - a month after the birth of our perfect, little princess, Lily Emma. I am so honored and fulfilled being the mother of these two precious gifts from God that my days have innumerable moments of elation and contentment (sprinkled with feeling of helplessness and frustrations also). I hope that my children and my husband will always know how much they make life worth living and worth rejoicing in for me.