5 Updates because it's not Friday and I never reach 7 anyway.

I stink at blogging. You all knew that already.
Little Peep has come down with a terrible cold.  He's pretty miserable.  We'd thought about taking him to hear the Messiah last night, but did not buy tickets.  I'm glad we didn't because there's no way we could have lasted through it with him feeling so bad.

As needy as he's been, last night during dinner Peep said without any prompting "Thanks for making this, Mama!"  He then asked, "what are we eating?"  He very clearly was enjoying his mysterious dinner. 

Quesadillas - in case you were wondering.

St Nicholas came by the house the other night.  He brought Mr. Peep some random things Mama had lying around the house, but also a nice yellow train engine for Peep's beloved train set.
Peep was very excited to learn about setting out his shoes (which we did last year, but of course who remembers last year?) He was even more excited to leave an apple in his shoe as a gift for St. Nicholas and his horse.  Peep has been obsessed with Madeline in London recently.  In the story, Madeline and the girls give Pepito a horse for his birthday.  The horse ends up eating all the apples in Pepito's garden.  Peep loved the connection.


Cute but blurry.  In case you were wondering, yes I've got quite a bump now.  Peep is very excited for Baby.

The End.


7 (Kind of) Quick Takes

So it's Friday night, my husband's at a great conference I wish I could be at, but I was too tired after a day of work and little Peep (I have decided I will call him Peep on the blog for now because he loves this character).

I can't believe I haven't blogged in over a month.  I've barely even read other people's blogs. (Sorry.)

I wrote some of these things a week and a half ago but never published them.  Fail.  Now they all need updating.  But here you go:

I'm just about 20 weeks along now.  I'm starting to show and enjoying feeling the Little One moving around. Thankfully my nausea has just about all subsided...just about.  Now I'm hungry.  Yum.  EAT ALL THE THINGS!

Bad news: heartburn.  Ugh.  This child is giving me so many more problems than Peep.

Work is driving me nuts.  I hate to say that here, but it's true.  We recently had a large staff turnover, and all the newbies are trying to figure out what's going on.  We're trying to figure them out too. (In a good way...really!) There's a million projects buzzing around and too many cooks in the kitchen.  Oh, and none of the cooks are communicating very well.  Too much salty, too much sweet, and no balance anywhere.  Say a prayer we get ourselves and our offices straight soon!  There are too many good things coming down the pike for the Center for us to get bogged down in the piddly things that won't matter in the end.
Here's picture from several weekends ago.  Thanks to our friends for so graciously sharing the bounty of their land with us!
The apples were so delicious too!  They have slowly been made into applesauce and apple butter.  I finally finished processing them all the other night.

In case you haven't seen it, I'd like to show off a picture of my masterpiece:

Little Peep is currently somewhat obsessed with the Notre Dame Marching Band.  He was a little embarrassed to put the uniform on at first.  He hasn't quite fully grasped the idea of pretend/dress up.  He kept insisting that he was going to be in the marching band "soon soon" but "not yet."  It took a little convincing to get him to understand that I was not going to stick an instrument in his hands and send him marching off to the stadium.  Now he's starting to comprehend that he can pretend he's in the band and he can look like he's in the band without actually being in the band.

Child psychologists: go crazy analyzing that whole scenario. I've probably just destroyed his grasp on reality and turned him into a pathological liar and/or schizophrenic - right?

One last thought, a little belated:  Halloween?  To celebrate or not celebrate?  I had a very interesting conversation about this at work with good co-worker friend and mama of two (very soon to be three!).  She and her husband don't even talk about Halloween with their little ones.  It really got me thinking, but for all my thoughts, I haven't reached any conclusions.

Halloween can be a lot of fun - who doesn't love candy and dressing up in costumes?  At the same time, how good are either of these things for very young children (see #5)?  Peep himself was rather frightened by all the costumes - even cute princesses, fairies and superheros. He was terrified of our next-door neighbors' cemetery decorations.

There is a lot of darkness with Halloween.  Witches, goblins, zombies, vampires, demons, etc.  None of which are things we should be celebrating. 

It is good to be mindful that there are evil forces in the world.  It is good to remember our own mortality.  But unfortunately modern culture puts way too much emphasis on glorifying the darkness. - and sexualizing it.  Sexy witch costume for a 6 year old?  Yep, there's one in every store. 

Not good. 

The best thing I can say is dressing up as a saint, Bible figure or even some other good moral role model must surely be the way to go.  Talking with your kids about Halloween is obviously important.  If they can dress up as a great figure of heroic virtue, be able to understand and tell you about the person they are emulating, go out and push back on the darkness of the vampires and sexy witches, how awesome of a witness is that?  That sounds pretty good to me.  

What do you think?  (And now I'm even less sure about how wise or worthwhile it was to make that band uniform.)

 I put a poll on the sidebar about Halloween. What do you do? I'd also be interested in any comments people have on the matter. 

 Happy Friday!


7 Quick Takes - Featuring an Announcement

Dear World:
I have an announcement!

Due April 1, 2014 - and that's no joke!
J and I are very happy to be expecting again.  I'm glad to share the news with all of you! 


I know, I know, you're all dying to know how I'm doing.  (Right? Of course you are.) Nauseous and tired.  Terribly nauseous.  As I'm going into the 2nd trimester things only seem to be getting worse.  That's not good!  The nausea is supposed to be going away!  P gave me some trouble, but never this much.  I'm pretty convinced that based on this the baby must be a girl.    


Sometimes the best way to handle feeling tired and icky is simply to stare at Facebook and Pintrest for awhile.  I have found some lovely gems in the process.   Like this: 10th Circle Added to Rapidly Growing Hell. 
Thank you, Onion.

Last weekend I had some delightful company in town - far better than just staring at the computer.  KK, my dear friend from back home, came out for a visit!  I was thrilled to finally take her around campus and show her all the things that have been so important to me over the last several years. Seeing her is always so much fun and I was sad she had to leave so soon.  Thanks for visiting, KK!  I hope to see you soon!


Speaking of the weekend,  I feel the need to share my Notre Dame football predictions for the next couple weeks.

This weekend we are going to lose and lose badly to Oklahoma.
Next weekend we are going to win against Arizona State, but I don't think it's going to be a great victory.

I have a theory.  I want to test it and see how accurate it is.


This child loves chicken.  LOVES chicken.  Chicken and eggs. Those two things are the only things that consistently sound good to me.  The funny thing is, when not in a pregnant state I don't particularly like either. In honor of Baby and for the amusement of my sister I've decide that all 7 Quick Take Posts will have hidden chickens.  Those chickens next door had better watch out.


Last but not least, this weekend one of my favorite ND Student organizations, Children of Mary, will have a concession stand by the bookstore at the south corner of the Eck Center.   If you're on campus this weekend, stop by and support them!  They won't have chicken, but I fully intend on patronizing them.

Linking up with Jen


Seven on the Thirteenth


Today is Friday the 13th.  Good thing superstitions are silly because I don't need a bad day.  It always amuses me when it is Friday the 13th though.  It's also a great excuse to cover for mistakes of the day. ;-)

 This past Sunday was the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. It was superseded by Sunday of course, but that did not stop in some intrepid Children of Mary officers from bringing a lovely cookie cake to brunch in South Dining Hall.  The fearless president lead the table in singing "Happy Birthday" to Our Lady.  
That's the Litany of Loretto on the cake

The Folk Choir (eating their breakfast the next row over) assumed we must have been singing to one of the girls standing by the cake.  Thus in a great display of amicability they burst out in their birthday song to their tune of Siyahamba (We Are Marching in the Light of God):

(You have to listen to link)

"Happy birthday! Happy birthday, oh! Happy birthday, happy birthday, you're so old! Happy birthday, happy birthday, oh! Happy birthday, happy birthday, Mary!!"

We all lost it. We were roaring with laughter.  Eventually one of the young men at our table went over and explained to some of his Folk Choir friends who's birthday we were celebrating.  They had no idea. 

Yesterday we went to the zoo! We met up with my coworker, her little ones and one of her friend's and her friend's son.  It was a great day for the zoo.  I was also glad that she is much more of morning person than I and so motivated me to get out and enjoy the day. The best part was seeing one of the elusive red pandas (above).  Those creatures is never out. Ironically all the animals that are normal guaranteed to be out were sleeping. 

After all of our company coming and going somebody declared that he'd had enough of dishes.  Enough he said!  He was determined to get a dishwasher into our small, poorly updated 1930's kitchen.  We eventually settled on the only truely viable option: a portable dishwasher.

We have to pull it out to use it and push it back into its corner when we're done.  It's a little awkward, but then honestly, the whole kitchen is awkward.

Right now it's in operation for the first time!  I hope it works!

The first dishwasher I've had since I moved out of my parents!


I have nothing more to say, except that my dishwasher seems to swish in time to Siyahamba.   That is mildly disturbing. So is Steve clapping/dancing at the end of that video.  I am sorry if that darn song is stuck in your head for the next 8 years.


Hmmm I just noticed there's a link to the picture of my neighbors' chickens under this #6 heading. Given that I usually just copy and past the numbers, that means there are probably links to secret chickens hidden in most of my other 7 Quick Takes posts.  I deleted this one.  Good luck finding my other secret chickens if they're there.  I'll have to look myself.

Here's a random picture of someone covering his legs with last year's chart stickers salvaged from the trash can at work.  Using about 50 stickers he covered both legs.  Getting them off was great.

Happy Friday!


Of Visiting and Visitors: 7 Things

Hello, World.  I've been gone for over a month! I can't believe it's been a month. Well, actually yes I can. Here let me catch you up on my adventures:

Much like the previous month, August was largely dominated by the theme of visits.  Before we embarked on our great journey of the month, we were blessed by a visit from some good old college friends and their son. Their visit was brief, but it was lovely catching up with them!
Our boys


The arrival of the above mentioned friends gave rise to a join birthday party - which was a tremendous amount of fun. Martha reported - you can see what she had to say.

The day after the day after party, we took a week and drove out to visit my in-laws.  From there we went back to work on my grandmother's house and also to celebrate some family birthdays.  Seeing the in-laws was fun. The celebrating part was fun.  The house part not so much.  Spending so many hours in the car: also not fun. 

Practicing his ABCs with his aunt.

Following the great journey of the month my brother and sister came to stay for awhile.  Their nephew was extremely spoiled by their presence - particularly his uncle's.  It is amazing he has survived their departure.

For Labor Day Weekend/the FIRST NOTRE DAME HOME GAME!!!!  a dear seminarian friend of ours was able to come visit.  We always love his visits, and this was no exception.  The weekend itself was very good.  Being on campus with all the celebration of the new football season was super exciting.  

Then September came and all our guests left.  That Sunday my brother, sister, and our friend all took their leave.  Our house felt very empty.  We sat up that night feeling like someone was supposed to be coming home any minute. I almost went to call to see when someone was coming home.  After 20 days of always having guests or being guests, something just seemed wrong.

Now, as of yesterday, my little sister is in Rome for a year!  I'm still processing this - I'm sure she is too, but hopefully she's doing it over a beautiful cappuccino or delicious gelato.  I'm not jealous. Really.

I am hoping she keeps us up-to-date with her studies and travels here.
A parting note - likely to not be erased until her return. 

P.S. Speaking of visitors: you can all start visiting my blog again.  I promise I'm going to try to post more! And, here's a link to Jen since I actually managed 7 things to say.


5 Quick Takes (or something like it)

Soooo I fail at blogging.  Sorry.  I've been busy and unmotivated.  Who wants to sit in front of a computer when there is so much else to do?  I think I'm giving up on Jen's 7 Quick Takes and seriously just doing 5.  I just might move the day from Friday to Saturday.  Any encouragement you can give me to blog would be appreciated...unless you think I should just give up! That's okay too.

The last time posted anything I'd mentioned I'd been away.  This summer's project has been clearing out my grandmother's house.  It has been an incredibly painful process in many ways.   The emotions that come from a situation like that are bad enough.  My dear grandmother passed away last June - the last of my grandparents.  We were blessed to have her live to the good old age of 93.

The last several years of her life she lived hundreds of miles away from her home with my parents.  She was a very sentimental person and extremely stubborn. Even in her frailty she insisted that she wanted to return to her beloved home.  She insisted that she would be the one to sort through her well-loved possessions.  Naturally, none of that ever happened.

Now a year after her passing we are left sorting through her life's worth of things - jammed packed in to every nook and cranny of her house.

It is pretty unbearable. It is tiring work.  None of us live around there anymore, which means we have to travel and infringe on the hospitality of my father's side of the family.  We are all fairly sentimental people as well.  Oh yes, and since the house has been sitting for over 5 years it has sustained a lot of damage from lack of repair, the constant rattling from major train tracks just over the fence, and the mice who decided to take over once my grandmother and her beloved cats left.

It's ugly.  I'm so exhausted from this project.   We all are. It's not over either. We're looking at another trip up there very soon.  Any prayers and encouragement you can send my way (or my mom's) would be appreciated.
Rudy: The sweetest golden-doodle puppy in the world~
One highlight of having to travel to clean my grandmother's house is visiting my father's family.  While were were staying with my uncle and aunt the other week, my son fell in love with their two cats and dog.  One of the cats is named "Peanut Butter." My little guy loved this cat so much and she graciously tolerated him.  He ran all over the house calling her "Pea-jelly." He usually calls the sandwich the same.  So silly.  We also were able to spend a day out at the Ancestral Cottage. 


He finally went on his first couple boat rides (the first was on a sailboat!) and spent many hours in a little float hanging out in the water.  He LOVED it all!

He found it all very relaxing:
Tired Sailor.


Since we've been back we've been keeping very busy.  We've gone peach picking, zucchini picking, and blueberry picking.  My refrigerator is exploding with deliciousness.  I've slowly been working on canning and freezing.  I really need to hurry up though! The stuff won't last forever.

Trying to see if there's even one zucchini in that field (we ended up with a lot)


Away, away

I could easily do 7 Long Takes today, but I won't.  You'll just have to wait a little longer to find out where I've been.  Don't worry, it really hasn't been exciting, and it's left me absolutely exhausted.

I've mostly been away (not on vacation) - and away from internet at that.  I am probably one of the few people left in this country who only accesses the internet from her home desktop and so has no internet when traveling.

I was pleasantly surprised to return home to find lots of new posts by Kate, Martha, and Michelle about their love stories.  I haven't had a chance to read them all yet, but it is so much fun!  Lots of memories and lots of smiles.

Go read their stories.  I'll write more later.


7 Quick Takes: July 12 Edition

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Whoa! It's Friday again?  This week went by quickly.  I'm pretty sure that this entire week I had a very poor grasp on time.  I'm okay with that though.  So here we are linking up with Jen.
Please keep Martha's little guy A in your prayers. I know this week's been a rough one, and while they are (thankfully!) home for now, I'm sure they'd appreciate many more prayers.

I am angry at Google right now.  First they took away Reader.  Now I log into my email and get "Meet the new inbox!"  NO, THANK YOU.  I don't like change.  I hate it. 

Maybe these new tabs things will be helpful, but right now I don't like them.

Oh and Facebook too!  Why? Why? Why?  I've come to expect constant change from Facebook, but it is still irritating.

Tomorrow should be interesting.  Our neighbors have organized a block-wide yard sale.  I don't have much to sell - just one thing really the Organjo.  I know some people are going to be heartbroken about this (really, I'll be heartbroken if it doesn't go.  Actually, I'll be happily surprised if it goes). 
What is the Organjo?  An old Hammond electric organ we got for free.  It has a "banjo" voice - hence the name.  Sorry to all the people who will be sad to see it go.  It was a great party conversation piece.


 Speaking of selling things, I'd like to put in a plug for my cousin's new company!

She and some friends have started UGo Bars - a company that bakes and sells healthy energy bars.
$2.00 a bar (a handmade, homebaked bar!) they are currently featuring a cherry-cacao flavor.
You can place an order via email and it will ship from Bloomington, IN straight to your door!

Go like them on Facebook and place an order!


The other day I finished reading Confederates in the Attic which was recommended to me. (See #6)  It was a really fun read.  The book started a flurry of Civil War mania in this household.  The hubby picked up and blew through both The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure (not his first time reading either).  It was so inspiring that when we took my brother-in-law to the "beach" this was built:


I still think 5 Quick Takes would be enough.


Pinteresting: Cell Phone Holder

This was one of the very first pins I pinned when I joined Pinterest - possibly the first.  It's great idea:

Idea of the Day
Take an empty bottle, cut it off so it fits your phone, leaving at the top a little loop to hang off the charger.  Decorate as desired.

The original pin is very pretty.  She took the time to delicately round and smooth all the edges.  She mod-podged this cute fabric to it.  It looks glorious and functional!

My take on it is a little less polished, but I don't care.

I took an empty shampoo bottle and a knife. That's all.  No fancy-shmancy stuff here.  I think to myself "hmm, maybe someday I'll decorate it."  But really why bother?  I did remove the labels at least.

I use this thing every time I charge my phone.  It allows me to plug the phone into an outlet in the kitchen that hangs above the dish rack.  The holder keeps the phone out of the dishes and away from grabby little hands that would love to play with Mommy's phone and rip the charger out.

The only thing I would note is to make sure the bottle accommodates both the phone and the charger.  My phone is not smart at all. The charger attaches to the side.  That added an extra 1/2 of an inch to the phone's width because of the plug and curving cord.  I had to chop extra bottle off to get it to fit.  Not a big deal, but just mildly annoying since I thought I was done.  


7 Quick Takes: July 5 Edition

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Whoohoo look at this! It's only 8:30pm, it's still daylight outside and I have a few minutes to sit down and write some paltry post.  I warned you all to not expect too much from this blog.  So here we go...linking up with Jen.  

"How is she sitting down so early?" you may be wondering.  Well, my friends, my brother-in-law has come for a visit, and he and my husband decided that while I was at work today they would have as much fun with the Little Man as possible - wear him out so he'd take an early nap.

They failed.

The poor guys tried a two hour walk & playground excursion.  They played many games.  All for naught.  The Little Man would not nap.  I arrived home, and he continued in his wide-eyed and bushytailed state.  The gentlemen decided they were not tired either, so they set out to play some evening tennis.

I sat down with the little guy, and after reading the same book no less than 8 times in a row (possibly more, and it is not a short book), he whipped out the towel that usually serves as a changing pad, threw it on the floor and insisted I lay down with him.

A few minutes later:

Silence is golden.

(Don't worry, he's in his bed now.)

The book we were reading is this darling story:
Albert the Fix-It Man
Written and illustrated by two sisters, it's a very sweet story of a man who helps everyone and in turn is helped by others.  We've been participating in our library's Summer Reading Challenge.  I'm very glad that the program is open to all people from birth up!  Even though I'm the one usually picking the books and always logging and reviewing what we read together, it's helped me be more motivated in making sure there's always a variety of books for us to read together.  It's also motivated us to go to the library more often - and he LOVES that!

I love summer.  One of the best things about it is fresh fruit!  The other day a friend called me up and we took our little ones out to pick strawberries! 

8 pounds!  Not bad for the end of the season.  Now I have some in the freezer, 5 jars of jam, and 6 jars of various flavored sauce perfect for topping ice cream.  Strawberry and whiskey sauce anyone?  It was a hit last night!

Speaking of last night....Good grief!!!  I was beginning to wonder if our town had decided to bombard our neighbors to the north to try to annex their land.  I have never heard so many fireworks!  Granted, where I grew up you could not could not set off fireworks in your backyard and here you can.  This was only our second Independence Day here (we'd always traveled before), but I really didn't remember it being so violent last year.

This morning my favorite radio weatherman provided an explanation: last year we were in drought conditions so there was a ban.  This year, people were free to let loose.  And they did.

It sounded like a warzone.  The Little Man was terrified and cried quite a bit.

And for all the noise, I didn't get to see a single one. 


Back to the subject of books... Kate included me in a book exchange via snail mail. I now need to find 6 willing mommy (or daddy) participants to pass the letter on to.  The idea is you send one book, pass on the letter to 6 more people, and you get 36 books in return (if everyone does their part).  Do any of my readers want to participate? Let me know. I have some people in mind, but thought I'd put it up here just in case there's someone who'd really love to do it.  Friends and books -what a perfect combination!

Okay, down to 7. While I'm throwing stuff out to the crowd - does anyone have any suggestions for the blog? Any inspiration to get me running?  I'd be glad for any thoughts! 

Have a great weekend!


7 Quick Takes: June 28 Edition

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Well my friends, I'm linking up with Jen again.  You know, I had great hopes of writing a wonderful post for today.  That did not happen.  It is not going to.  I spent all of my computer time yesterday and today making a photo book on Shutterfly.

I am a Shutterfly addict.  I've been doing pretty good lately - but then I received a coupon for a free photo book (you still have to pay the $8 shipping, but whatever).  I've tried their various products in the past but this is the first book I've done. I am super excited to see it in print.

Google Reader is about to cease to exist. July 1 Google will be removing one of it's most wonderful services.  I'm in a bit of a panic.  I've been ignoring the little warnings that pop up every time I log in. Maybe if I ignore them enough they'll just go away and Reader will stay.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a replacement reader?  Please let me know!  I'd appreciate it!

This past weekend was spent with some of my extended family at our "Ancestral Lake Home" - once owned by my paternal grandparents, now co-owned by their children.  It's a lot of fun!  I was reminded yet again that I am really blessed with an incredible family.  As one of my aunts pointed out: not every family can pull off sharing a cottage for multiple generations without ever having a major fight. 

Speaking of that, we left after everyone else.  We arrived home from a day of less then pleasant work to find this wonderful bag of chocolate in the fridge.

My birthday? Why yes....it is around this time if you were wondering.  More chocolate?  Why yes I'd like that too. 


Six?  I think that really 5 Quick Takes should be sufficient.  It seems I run out of things to talk about after #5.  Maybe I should make a rival link up of only 5.  The lazy, uninteresting, uncreative people's link up. Anyone interested?

Well, since I am going for 7, I guess I can tell you all about terrible storm that blew through here the other day.  Branches down everywhere. Wires down everywhere.  Our neighbor's power box was ripped out of her house.  It really frustrates me that all the wires are above ground around here.  I grew up a spoiled child in a place where nearly all wires and cables of any sort were buried deep below the ground.  I believe everywhere should get with the times and invest in burying their lines.  Their less likely to be destroyed by falling branches and it sure looks a lot tidier too.  Just a thought.


On Waste

My neighbors across the street appear to be moving.  Most likely moving on short notice.  I never really got to know them - a single mom with 3 kids.   People were always coming and going, and now people having been buzzing about all afternoon and evening emptying the contents of the home onto the beds of two pickup trucks and carting it away.

Except for the giant pile of "trash."

Not the neighbors, but you get the idea.
American homes generate a ridiculous amount of waste on a day to day basis.  That alone is a crime, but what's really killing me right now is that a lot of this "trash" is seemingly usable items the family simply doesn't need any more and does not want to take.  Okay, so just some of it is.  I hope that she is getting better beds to replace the 6 duct-taped mattresses lying in the heap.  But why are her male friends gleefully carrying bookshelves, TV stands, and other furniture items down to the curb and then smashing and kicking the heck out of them?  Why not at least leave them standing for the evening with a sign saying "free?" 

I'm kind of hoping the rocking horse and kid's picnic table survive the madness and maybe I can ask her for them.

The most nonsensical part of this scene is that all of these people are living in "poverty."  I see this so often at work.  Many of those in poverty are the worst stewards of the resources they have.

I don't understand.   I would have paid her for a couple of those shelves, but before I could open my front door they were destroyed.  Can anyone explain?

She could have sold them for money, which she almost certainly needs.  She could have given them to a friend - I'm sure she knows someone who could use them.  But now she's just deprived herself of money, or her friends of the goods, and added to the ever-growing morass of waste consuming our world. 


7 Quick Takes: June 21 Edition

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It's finally the end of the week!  Time to link up with Jen. I have not improved in the timely-posting department.  At least not by much.  I guess I am better by an hour.  Can you believe I even started a draft days ago and still couldn't get it out earlier?  Thank you to anyone who actually reads this.


If any of you who read last week's 7 Quick Takes were wondering, yes, we did make it to the Old2Gold sale.  It was pretty crazy.

The organizers recommend that people have an idea of what they want so they can make a bee-line for it.  The thing they should really emphasize is that you really should only plan on getting one category of goods.  Even if you have a seemingly short list of 3 things (say, organizing bins, sweaters, and a bookcase) you will realistically only get one of those items.

That being said, I got really lucky!  While we didn't get a bike we were hoping for (those things sell out super quick), I scored the totes I wanted, plus some random goods picked up along the way.

Sorry the pyrex didn't make it in the first picture. 

Total spent: $26  -  $16, plus $5 admission per adult.


Michelle over at My Domestic Monastery wrote a really great post earlier this week: TV is Not Evil.  The issue of my little guy and screen time is something my husband and I worry about frequently.  I hope I can share my thoughts and experiences in more depth soon.  In the meantime, head on over to Michelle's post.  


My little guy loves watching Spot and recently discovered Peep and the Big Wide World.  He LOVES Peep and his friends Chirp and Quack. The other day in an effort to pull him away from watching one more segment, I found some coloring pages and printed them out.  He was so shocked to see his new favorite characters on paper and not the computer that after staring wide-eyed, jaw agape for minute, he buried his head in embarrassment.  (See more below.)   Then he got over his high emotion and colored with reckless abandon. 
You know you're a Mommy Blogger when you post your kid's "Works of Art"

Embarrassment?!  We are approaching the "Terrible Twos" as people like to call the wonderful 3rd year of life. I'm sure there will be a lot of strong feelings and emotions going on, but that is part of this developmental stage. Just this past week embarrassment walked on stage. 

Our friend Therese and her son came over to visit on Tuesday.  My little guy was so excited to see his buddy, but being an awkward toddler who is still figuring out how to share, he didn't really know how to handle it all. 

At one point he came out of the room where he and his friend were playing.  He tripped a little.  He didn't really fall, and he certainly didn't get hurt, but the fact that he tripped, even a little, in front of Therese caused him to hide his head in shame.  He wouldn't look up until I came over and told him it really was okay and Therese didn't think less of him for it.

We had a few more similar incidents through the week and I'm sure there are many more to come.  I find childhood development fascinating all the way around, but this growing awareness of emotion and social interacting is particularly intriguing.  Anyone know any good books about it?  I'd love to read up.

Speaking of reading up, at the suggestion of a friend, I picked up this book. I'm very excited to start it this weekend.  I'm also super excited because said friend is planning on making a tour of major historical sites throughout the mid-Atlantic.  Since I'm so jealous that I'm stuck in the Midwest and can't join her, I've been pushing her to blog the experience.  Stay tuned.  I think she finally has a blog title! ;-)

Lastly, I'm looking forward to this weekend.  I get to hang out with some of my extended family!  It's going to be blast!  Hope you all have great weekends too.


Pinteresting: Scratches Vanquished by Nuts

I love Pinterest.  It took me awhile to realize its value, but once I did I was hooked.  It's a wonderful place to get ideas and inspiration.  Yes, sometimes you do have to take things with a grain (or few) of salt. But isn't that true of everything on the internet?

While it might not be the most exciting of series, I thought I'd share various projects and tips gleaned from the boards of Pinterest.

Here we go!

Ever had some nasty scratches on a wood surface you'd wish would go away?  I have lots.  Particularly on this lovely toddler bed we recently acquired.

Idea of the Day: Rub a raw nut across those scratches and watch them fade away!

Walnut and Brazil Nuts are preferred - their oily flesh is perfect for the job. (Don't forget to take it out of the shell first, silly.) I only had raw almonds on hand.  They accomplished the job decently.

Here's how it turned out:

I'm still hoping to pick up some walnuts and test them on some of the more difficult scratches. But that's not too bad is it?

Certainly a handy trick I'll keep in mind.


7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Jen's 7 Quick Takes seems to be one of the cool things to do these days, so here I am jumping on the bandwagon.  I might slip and fall off though.  Try not to laugh too hard.

Speaking of, Martha, who did her Quick Takes at a reasonable hour, asked:
 "time to write those posts is so limited. So, other moms who blog with little ones- answer me this: HOW DO YOU DO IT?!?!?!?!"
Martha, if you get an answer, let me know.  In the meantime my solution is blogging Friday's post at 11:20 on Friday night.  Eeesh.

Maybe I'll just fudge the time stamp and pretend I'm so organized.

Regardless, I should not be up this late.  Tomorrow is Notre Dame's Old2Gold Sale.  Notre Dame students are notorious for having a lot of stuff - usually nice stuff - and also for leaving said stuff behind when they graduate and move on with life.  So the University collects it all and sells it off - a giant yard sale in the stadium - and all the proceeds go to charity. Pretty cool.  For the last several years I've wanted to go and check it out.  Each year something's come up, but honestly it runs from 7:00am to 10:00, the bulk of the stuff sells in the first hour and, oh yes, you can't line up earlier than 4:30am.

That's just scary.   I am NOT a morning person.  I repeat: I am NOT a morning person.

Neither is the Hubby, but he needs a new bike.  That's our motivation.  We'll see how this goes.

I am not a morning person.

Speaking of yard sale shopping: Dear People of the world, please consider starting your yard sales a little earlier in the day and run them until about 4 instead of noon.  Thanks.
If I ever have a yard sale there's no way I'm waking up at the crack of dawn on Saturday.

Earlier this year the city of South Bend decided to allow homeowners to keep up to 6 hens within the city limits.  Pretty awesome.  Even more awesome, our next-door neighbors immediately took advantage of this and so we get to watch 6 hilarious hens pecking around. 

They make my day every time. 

And now I'm going to bed.  Sweet dreams.


Peace Begins in the Womb - 1

This past semester I was asked what being pro-life has to do with fostering peace in the world. It's a huge question but really a very simple one:

I love Feminists for Life, and this bumper sticker of theirs says it all.

If I remember correctly, the question was raised in the context of the Catholic Church's involvement with the pro-life movement and the Church's movement of promoting peace among all of humanity. I don't think you have to be Catholic, or even Christian to play a role in both or recognize the connection between them - even if the Light of Christ does illuminate some of the details and deeper reasons.

It's simple: If we cannot acknowledge the humanity of the most innocent and vulnerable of our kind and treat them with the love and respect they inherently deserve, how can we possibly treat our enemies or those we dislike or disdain with any sort of respect?

Peace in the womb must come before all else. It is the foundation of any sort of broader peace -be it peace in one's own life, peace in one's home, peace in one nation or peace in many.

I see this first hand with the many families I work with.  I have yet to see a happy, peaceful family choose to abort one of their children, and I have yet to see happiness and peace come from  woman's decision to abort.

I see angst and strife run rampant among those who are open to abortion. I cannot recall one single case where the pregnant mother did not have strained relationships with the people in her life or society at large.

The family is the building block of society - peaceful families will build a peaceful world.  I know society would like to deny that fact, but it's true.

If our families cannot have peace, they cannot bring it to the world.

Stay tuned for more musings on this some other time....



For awhile on the old blog I was linking up with Ann Voskamp's Multitude Mondays, which now since she published her book 1000 Gifts has become her "Joy Dare."

I love the idea of counting your blessings - even the littlest - and have decided to start a new list over here.  It is such a wonderful way to stop and see the joy, beauty, and grace in the everyday.  Want to join too?

1. a cuddly little boy on my lap

2. the sweet smell of honeysuckle floating on the breeze

3. a day of work done

4. sharing memories of my childhood with the cuddly little boy

5. the little guy's growing vocabulary!


St. Thomas and Sheep

The other day was the birthday of my very dear friend, "The Roommate." Remember her from the Sober Sophomore days?

She is one of the most sweetest and most crafty people I know.  And by crafty, I mean this in two ways:
First she is skilled with her hands. She can make, paint, or draw just about anything.
Secondly, she is sneaky. In college she was known by some of us who lived with her as "Sneaky ___" because for as quiet and unassuming as she might be, you never really know what she is up to.

She is one of the greatest friends in world.

Growing up I had the joy of attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival almost every year. It was always so fun and exciting! I have so many fond memories of those days. Now, living so far away, I miss being able to go.

Knowing this, my dear Sneaky ex-Roommate, who now lives within driving distance of the Festival, went this year and picked up some gorgeous alpaca yarn for me. I was so surprised when a little package arrived on my doorstep!  But the yarn was not the only thing she sent.  She also enclosed three darling needlefelted masterpieces:  St. Thomas Aquinas and 2 sheep!

Aren't they perfect? This picture doesn't do them justice. The detail on St. Thomas is amazing.  I'm pretty sure she could sell those for a pretty penny.  I'll sign up as her first customer! 

So what do I do with a friend who sends me gifts for her birthday?  I guess I just have to make sure to send her one for mine...good thing they aren't too far apart! ;-)


Wedding Bells

Congratulations to two very dear friends who were married this weekend!  May God bless them always!


A Brief Introduction

Well hello, friends! 

After a long hiatus of nearly 3 years, I have finally decided to step back into blogdom. We'll see how this goes. 

This morning I was helping the Little Sis gather her belongings from campus. We ran into one of her TAs.

"Excuse me, ma'am," he said (in good humor), "there appears to be a small child coming out of your backpack."
"Why yes," I replied, "that is what happens to books after graduation.  They sprout into children."

Okay, so that's him not me, but you get the idea.
Amazing how that happens. 

Yes, we are still in the shadow of the Dome, still in touch with academia, still working as a pregnancy counselor, but now with the added joy of a child in tow.  And he makes all the difference! 

I realized that the old blog was a work unto itself and the new dimensions of my life demand a new space.  Thus we have moved from The Sober Sophomore to The Sophomoric Mama.

I don't intend to write just a "mommy blog," but rather to keep it along the same lines as the old one.  A little of this, a little of that - mostly my own sophomoric musings. That being said, I realize that just as motherhood is a dominant theme in my life right now, so will it most likely become on the blog.  But the title says it all: so you have been warned!

P.S. And posting will probably be sporadic.  Don't expect anything too great here.