24 June 2015

This one kind of got away from me.

At the dinner table, Declan made a gaggy-chokey noise.
Me: You okay, bud?
Keira: Y'okay, bud? (Gags on her dinner while speaking with her mouth full.)
Me: Are YOU okay, bud?
Keira: No, I'm da girl. HE'S "bud." Y'okay buddy boy?

I suspect that's not funny to anyone but me. But I laughed until I had to wipe away tears. She's the sweetest big sister, and very sure that everything is supposed to be the way she thinks it's supposed to be.

Speaking of tears, what is up with Up?! It's Keira's favorite right now, and I have to make myself too busy to look up during the first twenty minutes. Because otherwise I cry and cry. Poor Carl and Ellie! It makes my heart break all over again for anyone suffering from miscarriage and infertility. If that's you, don't watch Up, and know that we pray for your intentions every night.

H'okay so I just wanted to share a funny quote from my kids and then this got heavy real fast. So, as my hysterical little not-bud girl would say: Sorry 'bout dat.

21 June 2015

Answer Me This: Ejection Seats and Atticus Finch.

The estimable Kendra at Catholic All Year has brought back her popular linkup, Answer Me This, for the summer. Here's how it goes: she posts the questions one week; you take your leisurely time answering. The next week, she posts her answers and next week's questions. Join us, won't you?

1. What's the best thing about your dad?
He can spin a yarn -- you can't believe a word he says, but you will be entertained {I'm not saying he's a liar, just a teaser}. I waffled a little bit about last week's AMT question about things you believed as a child; I almost shared some of the nonsense my dad told me, but ended up going boring with Santa anyway because ultimately I never believed my dad for long. 

For instance: once he had me and my immediately-younger sister very upset because he told us that the seat-adjustment lever was an ejection seat in his Jeep. He explained that it was there in case you were about to get into a head-on collision, and that the part where the sides of the car met the cloth of the roof had little explosive charges to blow the roof off. It seemed very real (I was probably 11 and my sister was 7 -- but I have to admit that even 20ish years later with an engineering degree under my belt, I still think it was pretty clever and entirely too plausible). 

He maybe took it a little too far when he said he was going to pull the lever and eject us under an overpass (Jeez, Dad) -- that's when my sister started hysterically crying into the Mylar balloon she'd gotten from the party from which we were returning home. Her face was silver where the Mylar rubbed off from her tears for the rest of the day! 

2. If you've got kids, what's the best thing about THEIR dad? (If you don't, feel free to substitute your grandfather or another father figure.) 
His generosity. My husband is a giver, and he would walk over broken glass for me or our kids. Or, you know, wear the 20lb baby and hold the toddler's hand on the way to breakfast while Mommy lurks and takes photographs.

3. What's the best advice your dad ever gave you? 
He's fond of the John Wooden quote, "The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." And I think it's absolutely true for mothers too: I shall love my husband as a favor to my children. My dad has also always told me that the order of my devotion ought to be: God, then my spouse, then my children, then my other family, and then everyone else. Parents of littles, especially mothers I think, find it hard to put our spouses over our needy babies, but my dad was right. We have to maintain Us first and foremost amidst the chaos of molding young lives -- we made a vow to each other. 

4. What's something you have in common with your dad? 
I may have picked up his fondness for teasing. I hope I have a better sense of when it's going too far and I'm about to traumatize my kids! 

5. What's the manliest thing you know how to do? 
I am really good with my hands. I love power tools, although it's been years since I used one -- apartment living is a drag. And unlike a man, I do not think it a mark of weakness to take the proper precautions. {If I catch my husband doing electrical work without having turned off the breaker one more time...}

6. Who is your favorite fictional dad?
I'm sure 95% of everybody is going to say Atticus Finch. Because Atticus Finch is the best. And then when you watch the movie and realize that Gregory Peck is the absolute handsomest, you love Atticus Finch just a little bit more.

14 June 2015

Answer Me This: The Triumphant Return!

It's baaaaaaaaack!

The estimable Kendra at Catholic All Year is bringing back her linkup, Answer Me This, for a limited time ("It's the McRib sandwich of blog linkups," haaaaaa). She wrote and posted the questions last week; I took my leisurely time answering. This week, she posted her answers and next week's questions. Join us, won't you? I don't know about y'all, but I like/need some prompting to post in this space right now, because my kids have been sleeping like garbage. F'reals.

1. Any big plans for the summer?
Ongoing potty training for my toddler, who will be three in October. Our nanny wants to potty train all of her toddlers (there are like five or six at daycare, I think?) together, so we maybe started this journey a bit before she was strictly ready. I'm not entirely sure she recognizes the sensation of needing to go, because she will regularly sit on her little potty for the length of an episode of Little Einsteins and then ten minutes later wet her panties. After four days of significantly more accidents than successful trips to the potty, I was ready to call it off, and then she had (comparatively) a really good day. And last night she even did a #2 on her potty, and that's a milestone. (Right? I've never done this before.) Anyway: please pray for us.

Other than that, we have some little trips scheduled here and there, plus ten days at my parents' at the beach in July. It seems like it's going to be mostly just us (plus my parents and my 19-year-old twin sisters who live there for the summer) which is kind of a bummer because Keira will miss her cousins, and kind of awesome because we won't all have to sleep together in one room for ten nights.

2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
I believed in Santa for a REALLY long time. I was a logical child and that's actually why I believed: I was one of five children (six and seven -- the above-mentioned twins -- hadn't yet come along), and money was tight, always. Tight enough that a child would notice. But on Christmas morning it always seemed like there were so many presents they would burst through the windows. I distinctly remember being in elementary school and presenting my argument to my unbelieving friends: "Look, there is no way my parents can afford all those presents. It has to be Santa Claus." Also one year I sat on Santa's lap and he asked me about a picture that was on the fridge that I had drawn; he described it to me. Which in retrospect is kind of creepy, but at the time it seemed like proof.

3. What is your favorite amusement park ride? (can be a specific one at a specific park or just a type of ride)
I am prone to vicious motion sickness, so anything like the Scrambler might as well be called Barf Machine. I haven't been on those giant swings since I was a small child, and I think I would like it: wind in my hair, swinging my legs... Except I know I'd be tossing my cheese fries after, and I don't like to waste cheese fries. I like bumper cars/boats, because I'm in control and there's no whipping around. Luckily my children are 2 and five months so I have some time to just sit sedately on the merry-go-round while they react as if it's a roller coaster.

4. What's on your summer reading list?
I just downloaded Sabriel onto my Kindle. It kept popping up as a suggestion here and there and it was $1.99, so I can't vouch for it yet but it has glowing reviews in the young-adult-literature-enjoyed-by-adults oeuvre. I'm also re-reading the Song of Ice and Fire series because it's been years already and there are 248ish characters and twice that number of storylines and there are still more books to come out, if George R. R. Martin ever deigns to finish. I'm not a list-maker when it comes to reading; I tend to have three or four going at a time, scattered around the house. I'll read whatever's handy while nursing or waiting in line at Kohl's for ten million years to make a return. I'll probably try out of some of what's on Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading Guide if I get bored -- which is unlikely with two kids under 3 and too little sleep.

5. Have you ever fallen asleep in public?
I had an arrangement with the guy who sat in front of me in American Civics in tenth grade. He was my lookout, because I fell asleep in that class on the regular. I'm convinced it was a defense mechanism against the indoctrination that happens in your average American Civ class these days. (Which is why I intend to home-school my children.) Since then, I don't think I have -- I probably fit the clinical definition of an insomniac and I don't fall asleep easily.

6. What is your favorite smell?
The first thing that comes to mind is honeysuckle. Or lavender. Which is weird because I would tell you quite definitively that I'm not into florals. Oooh, I know: lemon. It's lemon.

Also! On an unrelated note: my second-youngest sister, Mackenzie, has opened an Etsy store. She sells vintage maps, hand-lettered with the saying of your choice. They're quite reasonably priced (... because she didn't listen to me; I think she could get a lot more!) and she does a great job. She's saving up to finish her last two years of her undergraduate education at St. Louis University in Madrid (my sister lives in Spain!) to become a Spanish teacher, and you could get some great art, hand-lettered with a Bible verse or (short) saint quote and help her out, if you so wish. No pressure. ;) 

AND FINALLY, because I haven't been great about posting and kids grow so fast, here's what my kids look like right now: 

Keira requested pizza for dinner, and got it! PLUS PEPPERONI! She wasn't at all happy about it, as you can tell.

And this chunky monkey, at five months old, has begun wearing size 12 month clothing. We skipped right over the 9 month size because I figured there was no point, and I was right. Declan Michael, what are they feeding you? (The answer is: breast milk. Plus one 5 oz. bottle of formula a day, which he almost never finishes.)