27 July 2014

Answer Me This: "The Fox," Grapes and Grandparents

Happy Sunday! I'm going to skip any mention of my weekend because I don't want to say anything unattractively, uncharitably unChristian. It was... Interesting. So for now: Answer Me This, as always hosted by Kendra.

1. What’s your favorite thing on YouTube?
I am not a big YouTuber. I know some people use it for everything, because there is a YouTube video for just about everything, but I never really think to check it. I would say that since I have "The Fox" by Ylvis bookmarked for my awesome toddler who loves awesomeness, I'm going to have to go with that.

2. Who taught you to drive?
My parents, mostly, but I did take lessons from a driving instructor. My mom was the worst to learn from because she was always grabbing at the "oh crap" handles and slamming her foot into the floorboards as if she had access to a brake. 

I'm a better driver than she is. 

3. What’s your favorite thing to cook?
Mashed potatoes! I make SUCH good mashed potatoes. My favorite other thing is cooking a whole chicken in the Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, because you can go from raw chicken to cooked, juicy chicken in like half an hour in the microwave. 

4. Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?
I'm happy to hug you but I'll rarely initiate. I guess that makes me a hugger who doesn't assume you're a hugger. :)

5. Where do you pray best?
During the quiet times at Mass. That seems like a narrow window, but that's when I pray without thinking too hard about it, which is, for me, the best praying.

Saying prayers with my daughter at bedtime has gotten hilarious. We wait at the end of most lines of the prayers we say (the "Our Father," a "Hail Mary," "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep," "O Angel of God," and the prayer to St. Michael) so she can fill in the last word. It's only been a couple of months and she already knows the final word to almost every line, and she probably knows more but if we wait for her to offer them we'd be there all night. So last night:

Mommy: Hail --
Keira: Maly,
Mommy: Full of --
Keira: Grapes!

"Mary" has always come out "Maly" because she has a very active tongue when she speaks, but "Hail Mary, full of grapes" is new and cracked me up. You could see where it makes sense to her as the end of the line concludes with mention of fruit.

6. When is the last time you saw/spoke to your grandparents?
I had all my grandparents until April of 2012. Since then, both my mom's parents and my dad's father have passed away. So I spoke to my maternal grandmother last in March-or-so of 2012, my dad's father about the same time (he had been in care in a nursing home with dementia borne of nigh-30 years of Parkinson's disease and hasn't remembered any of his grandchildren in years [and I realize that sounds like a poor excuse, but I lived several states away and he couldn't do phone calls, so...]), and my mom's father around Christmas 2013. My dad's mother is the only one still standing, and it's been about a month since I saw her at my cousin's wedding.

20 July 2014

"Answer Me This": Shakespeare, Bare Feet and Spike Lee.

Happy National NFP Awareness Week! I bet 90%+ of y'all reading this are more than aware of NFP already, so spread your awareness around!

I find myself unexpectedly with a block of time because my husband took our daughter to early Mass and then down to his parents' so he could finish a project for them that he started yesterday, so I'm going to join up with Answer Me This for the first time in weeks. Check it out over at Kendra's!


1. What’s something you've won and how did you win it?
I was an award-winning actress in high school, which makes me laugh whenever I think of it. I played Viola/"Cesario" in Twelfth Night when I was a junior in high school and I got an award from the PA Drama teacher's whatever-whatever. I forget what the award was actually called. It came with precisely $0 in scholarship money, and meant largely nothing.

I also won "Funniest Girl"  (from my peers) in my class of graduating Chemical Engineers (University of Delaware, 2005, yuk it up!) AND was a part of the team that won the best senior project award (from my professors). That was a good night.

Aside from that, I've never won so much as $10 in the lottery. 

2. Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?
I tend to save everything for a time and then I go on a tear and throw mostly everything away. I keep the stuff that is really personal and sweet: notes from my husband, cards that people bothered to actually personalize, etc. 

3. When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?
I'm almost always at home because I work from here, so I live a barefoot life. Always. I wear socks as infrequently as possible, and my "shoes" are 99% of the time really flip flops. As a result, I always keep up with my pedicures.

4. Who’s the most famous person you have ever met? 
I never meet anyone famous, which is funny because unlike most people, I can totally play it cool. A few years ago my in-laws took us to a resort for my father-in-law's birthday and Spike Lee was there. We ran into him and my brother-in-law shocked me silly by being completely unable to stop gawking. So I guess I met Spike Lee that one time?

5. What has been your best work of art?
Without a doubt, it's this little piece of beauty. Soon there will be another little work of art messing up our lives in a big, wonderful way. (This picture is seven months old or so, but her beautiful face is the same. Now her hair is a complete mop.)

6.  What’s your strongest sense?
I'm pregnant, so it's obviously my sense of smell. I can smell everything, to the chagrin of my husband. Sometimes he walks into the house and I can tell him what he had for lunch because I can smell it on his breath from across the room. It is NOT GOOD.

19 July 2014

In which I ask for prayers for others.

Oh, so silent for so long. I've been treading water, trying to get through this pregnancy without swearing off another.

For now, I've come to ask for some prayers. Friends of mine are going through a hard time, and they could use some intercession, and certainly some divine intervention.

St. John Paul II, St. Joseph, St. Monica, St. Priscilla, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Thomas More, St. Valentine: Ora pro nobis.

01 July 2014

Help me, fellow mommies!

 The last couple of days have been a complete nightmare. Keira was sick over the weekend and as a result watched way too much TV. We know better because too much TV always has behavioral consequences, but when she's sick and just wants to watch Little Einsteins and we can't take her outside or anything, what else are we gonna do? Thanks to the fever on Sunday and state law that says she can't go back to daycare until she's without a fever for 24 hours, we had to scramble to make arrangements on Monday, because our family vacation starts on Thursday of this week and I have an epic amount of work to do before then.

My sister-in-law, who's recently sold her business and isn't yet working, graciously offered to come babysit. Unfortunately, Keira was a total beast to her and Michael had to come home from work at lunchtime, because I couldn't get away from my work. She was able to go back to daycare today and apparently she behaved fine while she was there, but from the moment she came home tonight it was wall-to-wall meltdowns.

She melted down about sitting down to dinner.

She melted down when Daddy asked her to put her toys away after her bath.

She melted down when Mommy took away her Sofia book in response to some unspecified other meltdown.

She melted down about nothing at all.

She smacked Mommy in the face and then sat in time-out, refusing to say "sorry," for fifty minutes. FIFTY. She kept trying to charm me into letting her out without her actually having said the word, because she's the most stubborn child who ever lived.

She had the mother of all meltdowns because Mommy said she had to say her prayers.

We had a couple of days of this a couple of months ago. We cut off the TV altogether and started saying her prayers before bed and her behavior turned around on a dime. But she hasn't had any TV since the fever died down, and we never, ever skip prayers. So now I'm out of solutions. We're big on follow-through so it's not that she doesn't know we're serious. But I -- and my pregnancy hormones, let's not forget that -- cannot take another day of this behavior.

So chime in. Let's hear your no-fail, can't-miss solution for absolutely miserable toddler behavior. Pleeeeeeeease?