7 in 7: Seven Quick Takes

Could there *be* any more sevens in that title?  Sheesh.

1. My mom is here!

I know I posted about it earlier this week, but my mom is finally here!  She leaves tomorrow, so it is a pretty quick trip.  But, it’s been wonderful having her here.

2. Bumps

I don’t have any pictures (because, why?) of Little Man’s bruises from today, but he fell and bonked his face two times when he was trying to run/walk through the house.  My mom and I were both watching him each time, but he managed to get just out of our reach.  I’m sure he’ll have about a hundred more bruises and bumps in the next couple of years, but it still makes me sad.

3. Ten months!

Tomorrow, Little Man turns ten months old!  It’s total and complete craziness.  He’s grown so much int hat time.  I’ll write more about it later, but suffice to say that he is Growing.

4. The Fault in Our Stars

Oh my goodness, GUYS!  I just started reading The Fault in Our Stars this week and I CANNOT stop reading it.  Seriously.  I’m surprised that I’m even able to stop reading so I can type this post.  It’s by this guy named John Green and his books are great.  They’re YA novels, and the stay pretty close to the way kids act, think, and talk.  Plus, there’s stuff that happens that just pulls and your heartstrings and makes you turn into a thirteen year old girl who just wants to DIE from what happens.  Sigh.

5. Missing my husband

Without getting ridiculous about it, I just have to say that I miss Teacher Man.  He’s on retreat with the kiddos until tomorrow and has only been gone for TWO DAYS, but I miss him lots.  I know for many people, two days is nothing and i’m so grateful that we don’t have to live apart for any length of time.  But, I still miss him.

6. Haircut

I got my hair cut yesterday.  It’s been a WHILE and it was so wonderful to get pampered a little bit.  My mom watched Little Man for a bit; it’s crazy how I still miss him when we’re apart even for a little while.  But, the haircut was totally worth it.  Scalp massage.  Mmmmmm…

7. Books for Lent

I don’t know what I’m going to give up for Lent yet, but I’m in search of some religious/spiritual reading for Lent.  If any of you have ideas of what to read, I would really appreciate the suggestions.

Okay, with that, I’m going to go back to reading.  Because I CAN’T STOP.  🙂

I’ve been posting all week as a part of this group.  And I’m also linking up for Seven Quick Takes with these fine people over at Jen’s.  

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7 in 7: Day 4: Kids in Church

At one of the churches we go to (we hop around depending on Little Man’s schedule), they have this in the pews:

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Can I tell you that I absolutely love this?  It’s not just written for the parents of small children, but also to those in the parish who are there without children.

I’ll admit that there was a time when I was young (probably high school) where I was annoyed with parents and their little kids at church.  The kids were distracting, the parents were distracting while trying to take care of the kids, and no one was quiet ever.  I would sigh to myself and roll my eyes to myself and try to pay as much attention as I could to what was going on in the Mass and kind of sort of wishing that the people with kids would just sit in the back or something.

And then I grew up.

I started thinking about how I should pray for the mom trying to struggle to wrangle her overly active two-year-old daughter.  I should pray for the father of the newborn who had colic and started crying right during the consecration (P.S. — Does every parent pray please-just-stay-quiet-please-just-stay-quiet during the consecration as much as I do?).  I should pray for the parents trying to patiently explain to their kids all of the things going on during the Mass as they kneel in the front.

So, that’s what I started doing.  Praying for all of the parents and grandparents around me at Mass.  I love that this church is so accepting of children and their “wiggles”.  By being welcoming to my baby, I feel like I belong there.  If I went to a church where I got the stink-eye from most of the parishoners as I walked Little Man to the back of the church so he can practicing toddling back and forth between the windows, I wouldn’t feel like my family belonged.

Next time you see a mom or dad lugging a diaper bag full of teething toys or swaying back and forth with a baby while pleading for them to take the stupid pacifier, say a little prayer for them and make them feel welcome.

 

7 in 7 Day 3: Five Faves

Mom is here!  Woohoo!  Celebrate with these five things that I love this week:

1. The New Yorker

Everyone has their little guilty pleasures.  Mine was ordered a couple of weeks ago in the form of a three month subscription to The New Yorker.  I’ve subscribed to lots of magazines over the years: Vanity Fair, Time, and Real Simple to name a few.  Real Simple is the only one I’ve stayed with for any real length of time and I barely have time to read that anymore.

But… the lactation room (such a weird term, isn’t it?) at work is freezing cold and has spotty wi-fi at best, so I wanted to get something light that could feat easily into my bag with my breastpump.  This magazine fit the bill and I’ve really enjoyed getting to read more poems and short fiction during my time in the LR.  It’s bit pricey for a magazine, but they had one of those amazing you’ll-practically-only-pay-for-shipping kind of deals and I just couldn’t pass it up.

2. Verily Magazine

I love, LOVE this magazine and I don’t even subscribe to it.  Right now, I just check the web content, but it’s so refreshing to read a “women’s magazine” written by women who are roughly the same age I am and in the same place in life and who are, gasp, real!

There are all kinds of wonderful articles.  But, I’ll say I’m guilty of this, fascinated by this, and need all kinds of help here.

3. The knights who say… Ni!

As I walked from the library to my classroom today, I started paying attention to the conversation happening behind me between two junior-aged boys.  Quickly, I figured out that it wasn’t a conversation so much as it was them reciting the ENTIRE “Knights Who Say Ni!” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Think what you want about Monty Python, but it’s pretty impressive that generations later, teenage boys still get a kick out of their stuff.  (P.S. — The photo links to the source; hooray for citations being done kind of halfway.  Go English teachers!)

4. “Counting Stars”

For some reason, I absolutely have to listen to this song at a moderately loud volume (if the volume goes too high, I don’t have any music at all) in my car.  So dang catchy!

5. Hanging on!

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Don’t we all feel like this some days?  🙂

I’m doing seven posts in seven days with these lovely people AND a Five Faves with these other lovely people.  Check them out!

7 in 7: Day 2

Today’s been a little extra-busy because… My Mom Is Coming To Town Tomorrow!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!

For all of you who live away from your parents, I’m sure that you understand how excited I am.  While Teacher Man’s family lives only a mile away and having them so close is a blessing, there’s nothing quite like having your own family around.  Teacher Man is going on retreat with some of the kiddos for a couple of days, so my mom will be here to help out with Little Man and hang out with me.  I’m so excited!

In Little Man news, he’s just started “sharing” by handing toys to us and then holding out his hand to get them back.  It’s pretty cute and we’re trying to reinforce the idea by giving him a huge “Thank You!” and smiling when he does it.  It’s so fun to see him start to learn a little bit about how to interact with the world.

Okay, I would write more, but I’m about to pass out from exhaustion and EXCITEMENT.  I promise a more content-focused post tomorrow.

If you aren’t ready to pass out yet and want to see some of the other bloggers participating in the seven blogs in seven says this week, go check out this post from Jen!

7 in 7: Day 1

Last week, I was all like “Sure!  I can totally do a post a day for seven days!  How perfect!”  I even went so far as to write down a bunch of ideas of things that I could post.

Oh, last week me, you are sooooooo funny.

Today was a rough day, friends.  Little Man was cranky today (I won’t go into it, but I’ll tell you that it involves poop and teeth, but not together), I had a surprise meeting after school, and I did NOT start running in preparation for a 5K that my sister and I are doing in May.

Today was one of those days that, on the surface, looks a little bit like a failure.  Nothing I did seemed to go exactly right (even my awesome joke flopped with one of my classes today).  So, I was sitting here feeling bad for myself and eating mint Milanos and I started to look at my day a little bit more clearly:

Little Man was a cranky-pants, but… he was really excited when I picked him up from the babysitter and could hardly wait to get into my arms.

Dinner tonight wasn’t anything special… but I had food to cook for my family (and the tools in my possession to be able to prepare it well!).

The kids didn’t laugh at my lame joke… but one of my students chatted with me about Spring Training and even pretended to care about my team (the A’s) (even if he was sucking up just a little bit).

I didn’t manage to get any of the grading done that I wanted to during Little Man’s nap this morning… but I got the floor swept and myself ready for work, dang it!

I’m finding lately that while I’m very grateful for the big things that I’m blessed with in my life, not always am I grateful for the little things during my day.  Today, then, I’m taking a moment to be grateful for all the things that went right.

I’ve linked up with a bunch of other awesome bloggers for the Seven Posts in Seven Days Challenge.  Check out all of the other lovely writers in Jen’s post.)

All the new things!

Okay, so I don’t have any pictures today because it’s been all kinds of crazy over here.

I was gone most of the day on Saturday teaching an SAT prep class at school.  While I was gone, Little Man learned how to pull himself up on the coffee table and he was SO PROUD.  Every time he did it, he was like “I’m so cool guys.  Look at me.  So cool.”

As I mentioned, the day before Saturday (Friday… duh…) Little Man learned how to say Mama.  Oh my goodness.  I don’t remember the last time something made my heart melt so much.  Maybe at his first smile.  Does it always get so awesomely better?!

Then, later on Saturday, Little Man decided to go for broke and started taking his first steps all on his own!  He dropped my fingers, took three steps away from me, paused, took two more steps, and then started to fall.  It was amazing and ALL he wants to do now is walk.  It’s adorable.

Consequently, Little Man is getting more and more brave with his walking.  He’ll just let go of my hands or the chair or whatever and start walking.  This doesn’t always work out well for him; he’s still a little unsteady.  Teacher Man remarked today that he looks like a drunk Frankenstein’s monster.  It’s totally accurate.

Today, he kind of crossed a new walking milestone when he let go of the chair he was holding onto and walked a few steps over to his high chair all on his own.

Basically, because of all of this walking nonsense, my life as I know it is over.  Everyone says that: Oh, now you need to childproof everything and he’s going to get into all kinds of stuff.  Yes.  He’s a baby.  That’s what they do.  🙂

He’s also flipping from his back onto his tummy and manages to not cry all the time when he’s on his tummy!  Hooray!

Okay, enough bragging for now.  I have some thoughts on other things that I need to share with you, and I obviously need to take some pictures of all of this stuff so I can prove that it’s happening (because, you know, if you don’t document something and post it on the Internet, then it may not have happened!).

Seven Quick Takes: Valentine’s Day, vocations, prayer request, and a charism?

1) Happy Valentine’s Day!
I will admit to you that this is not my most favorite day of the year. I think part of it is that I was single for so much of my life that I didn’t ever really get to feel the love that all of my coupled friends around me seemed to be experiencing on that pinkish day of days. I’ve had a few Valentine’s Days that were particularly important for one reason or another and I’ll talk about those in due time. This year, I’m excited that I have a new love in my life.

Can Mamas have their sons be their Valentines? I like to think so.

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2. Birthday! Picture!

Teacher Man had a birthday this last week and turned the big 3-1. We didn’t do much as it was a school night and, aw geez, we’re parents now who desire sleep above all other things. Little Man colored this picture for his Da Da.

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3. Birthday! Cake! Charism!

I’ve been reading on the Internets lately about charisms and I’ve been pondering what mine is. Then, as I was baking a cake for Teacher Man’s birthday (recipe here), it occurred to me that my charism is baking. All I want to do for people is bake. Have a birthday? Just a hankering for some pie? I’d love to bake you something. More importantly, baking is when I’m quiet, at peace, and I feel energized afterwards. Are we limited to one charism? I don’t think sound I’m not sure what another one would be for me. But, yes, the baking.

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4. Flip

Little Man is finally able to flip from his back onto his front.  He first did it a couple of months ago, but I kind of think it was a fluke.  Now, he can do it on the regular and he’s not scared when he lands on his tummy.

5. I want to GO!

Little Man will tolerate being on his tummy a little more now, but really all he wants to do is walk and walk and walk and walk.  He’s not long for sitting still and playing with his trucks, that one.

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6. Ma Ma

Today, I got the greatest of all Mama-presents: Little Man can say “Mama”!  Be still, my overflowing heart!

7. Prayer Request

There’s some heavy thinking and soul-searching going on in these parts. Prayers appreciated, please!

Have a lovely weekend and go check out some of the other Quick Takes!

This face.

There is much to talk about.  Teacher Man’s birthday was yesterday and I have some pretty cute photos.  But, that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Instead, I need to share this face with you.  And then I need to go and have a glass of wine and some chocolate cake.  🙂

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Seven Quick Takes: Snow, Olympics, and Time

1.  Doctor, doctor, give me the news…

Little Man went to the doctor for his nine month visit.  He was very well-behaved and there were no shots.  I’m sure there’s a correlation between these two statements.  But, seriously, how cute is he sitting in the waiting room?

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2.  SNOW!

We live in a place that doesn’t get much snow.  Consequently, when it DOES snow, all heck breaks loose and people tend to lose their minds.  Plus, the city is usually completely unprepared and has almost no plan in place to help with the roads.  It’s not quite Atlanta, but it’s close.  I’ve been very grateful for the past couple of days that I was home and that Teacher Man didn’t works right down the road.  People had to drive for hours and hours when their commute was usually fifteen minutes.  It’s crazy.  I’m grateful that my friends and family are safe and my prayers are with those who don’t have anywhere to go in this weather.

3.  Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.  

This week went by really quickly and I have no idea why.  Things at school were okay, but not awesome and things here at home were pretty much the same.

I bring this up because it occurred to me this last week that when next school year is over, I will have been our of college for TEN YEARS.  That is neither funny nor possible.  I would talk more about this, but I need to have a glass of wine first.

4.  THIS guy!

Little Man had his first experience with snow when we were visiting my parents at Christmas, but we got him all bundled up to go in the snow again today.

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A few notes on his outfit.  He’s wearing a diaper and flannel shirt under the whole ensemble.  Then, he has one of those fuzzy, zip-up, one piece bear things (complete with bears on his feet and bear ears on the hood!).  Size: 9mos.  On top of those, he has some snow pants.  Size: 18mos.  And then some shoes.  Just in case.  Size: 5 (whatever that means).  Basically, we went through all of the hand-me-downs that we have LOVED having and just picked some stuff to put on him.

God save us if we ever have a girl who cares what we put on her.

4.  The Olympics!  

I love, LOVE the Olympics.  I’ll admit that I favor the Summer games, but I will gladly watch Figure Skating for the next few weeks.  These events always think of my college roommate and the movie The Cutting Edge.  Tooooooooe piiiiiiick!

Feel free to go to Conversion Diary and read a lot more Quick Takes!

On serving others

Yesterday was a busy one.  It was Grandparents’ Day at school, I taught all day, had an appointment after school, made dinner, bathed Little Man, and then, after all of this stuff,  I had to bake cookies for Teacher Man’s Calculus class.  

They were celebrating their 100th  homework assignment in two years (seriously?) and having a potluck.  Teacher Man nicely volunteered me for the position of cookie-maker.  

I love baking.  I love baking cookies.  Chocolate chip cookies might be the easiest thing in the world to make.  They take Not That Long to throw together and put in the oven.  

And yet, when I found myself standing in the kitchen tired and waiting for the cookies to just BE DONE IN THE OVEN ALREADY, I was a little grumpy.  There was a plethora of other things that I wanted/needed to do with my time.  There were papers to grade (are there every NOT papers to grade?), floors to clean, and, dang it, I would LIKE to watch just ONE TV SHOW.  I was feeling pretty sad and taxed.  

Because I was making cookies.  For some kids.  

I don’t need to get upset or frustrated about the time it takes to make cookies.  I’m doing more than making cookies; I’m serving these students.  Sure, it’s in a kind-of silly way.  I’m not impacting their education at all.  Heck, they’re not even my students.  But, I’m serving them.  In the same way that I had served my students all day long when I answered all of the questions I had just answered two seconds beforehand.  In the same way that I had served Teacher Man and Little Man when I made dinner.  In the same way that I had bathed Little Man and put him to bed because he can’t yet do these things himself.  

My worldview needs to change.  Instead of seeing it as all of the things I have to do (grade papers, clean the floors, answer my friend’s e-mail), I need to think about the people that I’m serving  (my students, my family, my friend).  

Because, in the true essence of it, I’m not serving just them.  I’m serving Christ.