7 Quick Takes - The Peep Edition

I decided this week's Quick Takes needed a theme, and what better to focus on than my hilarious goofball firstborn?

As I'm sitting down to write, Peep and his Daddy are preparing  to mow the lawn.

Daddy (mostly to himself): Should I wear my tennis shoes or my boots?
Peep: You should wear boots so you don't get cuts.

Now if only Peep gave such great safety advice. If only he'd pay attention to it before he hops off furniture and stairs, slides like a baseball player, or deliberately trips himself.

"Sometimes it feels good to get hurt."

Blueberry season has arrived!  We have already gone picking twice at The Blueberry Ranch - the Midwest's largest (and only organic!) blueberry u-pick farm.  Yum.  We just can't get enough.  Peep once loved strawberries, and then he met his true love: blueberries!

Peep's love for blueberries is so passionate that in the last two days he has mastered a new skill: opening the refrigerator door. 

Over the summer Peep has become a stick connoisseur - carefully collecting and evaluating numerous sticks and twigs.  Often these fine specimens are turned into "beaver dams." Other times Mommy and Daddy surreptitiously stuff them into yard waste bags.  Occasionally Mommy and Daddy distract him from a recent find before it can be brought home. 

A blueberry stick to go with the blueberries

A few of the favs
Feeding the ducks...or collecting sticks?
Fr. Hesburgh up ahead in the library and Peep wielding a stick.

And then there's the rock collection too:

These are just a few.


Blueberries, sticks, stones...don't forget the trains.  Any sort of train.  He will do anything for trains.  We've read almost every book on trains we can find in the library.

On Wednesday, before Round #2 of blueberry picking, we met up with one of my co-worker friends and her kids for coffee and a play date at the Chocolate Cafe.  Her kids were gleefully climbing through the large cacco-tree themed playplace.  Peep refused to go up and opted to play in the smaller toddler zone.

"Peep, do you want to come up with me?" his friend asked.

"Umm no. Umm no thanks. I have to go somewhere soon." Peep responded.

You have nowhere to go but up that thing, kiddo.  That is precisely why I brought you here.

Eventually my friend's eldest spotted a model train that rode along a high up shelf from the store area into the play area and back out again through a tunnel in the wall.  The kids oohed and aahed. The moms continued talking.

Suddenly my friend stopped "Is that your son....up there?"

Sure enough Peep, skittish as he was, had darted up to the very top of the tower with her son to watch the train.

"Hi Mommy!  I'm up here!!"

Anything. Anything for trains.

Today Peep, Pebble and I took a walk around campus. After feeding the ducks, we headed over to the Grotto to light a candle and say a prayer.

As we approached Peep said softly, but excitedly: "There are candles!"

Then he crescendoed: "There are candles! But but BUT they aren't just candles! They're like, like, like  SACRIFICES! SACRIFICES!"

And he started to run full speed to the Grotto yelling "SACRIFICES!!!"

Okay. Who taught him that? Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty impressed and pleased.  That's pretty good theology. (Even if it was rather embarrassing at the moment.)  Surprisingly Dad said it wasn't him.  I'm looking at Grandpa...was it you? Uncles?  But really, what two year old runs around yelling "sacrifices!"  Given the average conversation in this house I'm not that surprised, but I didn't even know he knew the word.

Venite ad Me omnes (with your sticks)

This last take is the most exciting!

Earlier this week we heard that Peep's godfather, my brother-in-law, has been accepted as a seminarian for his home diocese!

We'd be grateful if you keep him in your prayers as packs his bags and continues to discern his calling.

Happy Friday!

Linking up with Jen.


7 Quick Takes: Mid July

Hang on, it's Friday?  Again?  I thought I just did this.... This week has simply flown.

The week opened with the visits of several old friends.  Three unrelated parties, all coincidentally in town at the same time.  It was lovely. 

To everyone else: if you're ever passing by Notre Dame, please don't forget we're still here!  We'd love to see you!

I really need to start writing down blog ideas as soon as they pop into my head.  Otherwise they just don't stick and I end up looking blankly at a blank screen.

Our copy of Notre Dame Magazine arrived this week.  Over lunch I read the article by Tom Coyne about writing and writers.  I will never consider myself a writer.  Never.

This blog is mostly an exercise to make sure my brain doesn't melt and seep out of my ears by the age of 30.  Don't let it fool you.

Pebble turned 12 weeks the other day.  He is a crazy kiddo.  If I was the betting type I'd wager he's going to be the family athlete. 

Every morning Mr. Pebble wakes up around 6:00 or 7:00 and goes running.  I kid you not.  Granted he's not actually running, but he lies in bed and pumps his legs up and down like a little marathoner.  He doesn't babble or fuss, he just runs.  He'll go for almost an hour - with some breaks - then he wants to nurse and goes back to bed for awhile before getting up for the day. 

It causes me to lose a good hour of sleep every morning, but it's hilarious.

Peep has been coming up with some fabulous quotes recently.  It's a shame I don't remember a single one.

He's also an aspiring photographer.  So in lieu of ridiculous quotes and actual pictures of the week, here are some of Peep's masterpieces:

He's obsessed with deliberately taking pictures of the floor.

I've been waiting for a blog update from my amazing little sister. But nothing's come.  I suppose she's just trying to enjoy the last days of her Parisian internship before coming home.   

You know, some of us just aren't as cosmopolitan...

Thankfully the ND School of Architecture is doing the work for her.  Join me in living vicariously through her and her classmates by reading about their recent visit to Romania here.

And right about now is when I start rethinking my policy of posting full-face photos of the boys...how easy it would be to just slap some of these cuties up here and call it a night.  I'll just head on over to Facebook and put them there.

Happy Friday!

Linking up with Jen's 7 Quick Takes!


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7 Quick Takes: Stormy Weather

This week has been quite eventful.  Here it is in 7 quick(ish) takes: 

Saturday we paid a lovely visit to the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. We discovered the Douglas Center on the west side of the park. If you have children you MUST visit sometime!  I'll be posting a review of the Center soon. 

Sunday was a beautiful day. I finished reading Something Other Than God.  Monday was wonderful too.  Monday was a very productive day.  I finally caught up on most of the housework.  Life was good.  I learned only one lesson that day: never put a jar of freshly made strawberry jam on top of the running washing machine unless you'd like to see it smash to the ground.

Finally!  That new normal I was looking for last week seemed to be here!

So the hubby and I decided to take it easy and watch something lighthearted and comical to celebrate the day.

The chosen film was Airplane.  That classic parody of all disaster films. A bit past midnight, as the final scene came on, we heard sirens.  Seconds later we realized those weren't part of the movie - they were real. 

Tornado sirens.

We grabbed the sleeping boys and ran down to the basement.  We rocked them and calmed them.  Everything was going to be okay.

Suddenly there was a roar like a freight train. Sudden darkness.  We hugged them close and Peep cried. Hail Mary, full of grace...Hail Mary, full of grace...My God, my God...Hail Mary...

Quiet.  Eerie quiet.  It was gone almost as soon as it had come.  There was only the sound of heavy rain.

A dog barked.  A neighbor's voice!  Is it over? Do we still have a house?

This is what we saw in the morning:

Most of our neighbors had roof damage.  Numerous trees looked as if someone had bitten off their tops.  These pictures hardly capture the immensity of the carnage.  Upturned trees, smashed cars and buildings. The neighborhood is barely recognizable in parts.

Clean up commenced immediately.  As soon as the heaviest rains passed we heard chainsaws at 2 AM. The night lead into a grueling day.  For all the devastation it was one of those really neat times where neighbors come out and are actually neighborly.  It gives you a little faith in humanity.

My proudest moment of the day was that despite the heavy clean up and lack of electricity I still managed to bake a birthday cake for a special someone! 

Did you know that a good old-fashioned canner or similar large pot and rack can make a makeshift oven?

Wednesday night, J went out to a going-away gathering for a friend leaving me behind with the boys and no electricity.  No problem.  Single moms have to put two kids down single-handly all the time, right?  

Oh my. 

Pebble was nearly asleep countless times and Peep would break down into a fit of crying because I wasn't attending to his needs swiftly enough. Over and over.  

I took the tearful Peep aside and sat him down for a little talk punctuated by his sobs:  "Look honey, I know, I know this has been a long day. I need to put your brother to sleep. I know you want the lights on.  I do to.  I know you just want to watch something, but we can't...."

A strange orange glow caught my eye.  It was coming from behind the closed door of the bedroom where Pebble lay. Either the aliens were abducting my baby or....OR.....POWER!!

"IT'S BACK!" I shouted.  "IT'S BACK! The power is ON!" I jumped with delight and gave Peep a hug.

Peep was terrified by his mother's crazed outburst and cried.  Then he realized what I just said.  Choking on his tears he said "I can watch something!"  

"Yes! Yes! You can watch something!"

And so I win the award for Best Media Limiting Mom.  Not.

The most difficult cleanup task was removing our black walnut tree.  The winds had pushed it towards the house.  And so it (and an awful lot of money) had to go.

So sad.  The yard feels like a blistering desert now.  I'm hoping to replace it.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, affordable shade tree that doesn't grow too tall?

Happy Independence Day!

Linking up with Jen.