Sunday, April 29, 2007

Crock pot meatball stew

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup beef broth
4 large red potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 cups baby carrots

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup parmesan
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
2 T. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Stir soup and broth in crock pot until blended. Add potatoes and carrots. Mix meatball ingredients in a bowl until blended. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on top of vegetable mixture. Cook on low heat for 7-9 hours.

I know that I got this recipe from someone, but at the moment I can't remember who. It might have been Ashley. But I'm not sure. If it belongs to you, let me know and I'll give you credit. :)

Menu Plan Monday

Here it is! For more good ideas, click on the button below.

Monday: Burritos
Tuesday: Crock Pot Meatball Stew
Wednesday: Baked Potatoes
Thursday: Leftover Meatball Stew
Friday: Crust-less Sausage Quiche

Friday, April 27, 2007

They PLAY!


It is the sweetest thing you've ever seen. Jonathan giggles at Thomas and Thomas grins back. Today Thomas said "ahn-goo" to Jonathan, and Jonathan thought it was hilarious and walked around copying him. Jonathan keeps Thomas well-supplied with puzzle pieces and small cars and trucks, and Thomas rewards him with smiles and coos, which Jonathan thinks are pretty neat!

I tried to get some video, but of course as soon as I brought the camera out, all sweetness came to an end. ;) Oh well.

Our week in pictures

Not including the potty training, because, well, that is just a little tmi. And I want my son to love me when he's 15. :)

Jonathan learned that he could take off his own clothes. And there was much rejoicing, although it was a little one-sided!

Thomas spent lots of time being pensive.

Jonathan let Thomas use his finger for a pacifier. I'm not sure Thomas thought it was such a great idea, though!

Car "trains" are the latest VERY! EXCITING! GAME! around our house.

And here is Thomas, looking adorable as always. He has discovered that he can sit up (albeit well propped in corners with pillows) and loves it.

We've spent lots of time in the garden: watering, cutting back flowers, weeding, and picking strawberries. This is the latest blooming flower - isn't it gorgeous?

I'm starting to work with Jonathan on helping with clean-up times. We have "blitz" pick-ups (that's what my Mom used to call them, and it stuck!) Today I asked Jonathan what he'd like to pick up for the blitz, and he chose to pick up the books. Here is the result - didn't he do a good job?

And he was so proud of himself! :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Laundry laundry everywhere...

This post over at Antique Mommy just about sums up how I've been feeling lately. :) I didn't realize, when I named my blog, just how unfortunately apt the first word would be.

Speaking of Antique Mommy, do you, dear readers, read her blog as well? Because if you don't, you should. She is split-your-sides-funny!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Potty training update

Yesterday's potty training experience yielded about 50-50 results. I washed 5 pairs of underwear. We only made the attempt in the morning, and had him in diapers in the afternoon.

Today, however, he seems to be getting the idea! I put him in underwear at 7:30am. I put him in a diaper at 1:45pm for his nap (much sadness ensued!) During that time we only had two accidents, and we had some pretty major successes as well! The best was when he informed me that he needed to poop, and we ran to the potty, and he did! :)

I shouldn't hope too much, for fear of jinxing it. ;) But I'm starting to wonder if he might just really be ready to do this, and it will be an easy transition. Because so far, it really is being pretty easy. I'm not getting much done in the way of chores, etc., because I have to be fairly vigilant about reminding Jonathan and asking him if he needs to go. And we're spending A LOT of time playing outside, because that saves my carpet if he does have an accident. But if a week of a dirty house means no more toddler diapers? Oh, I am SO in favor of that!

Recipes - Chilaquiles

Ok, Dy, I guess I'll post recipes, too. :)

This recipe is a winner that I originally got from Jessica.


15 5" corn tortillas, cut into 1" strips
2 T. oil (I use olive oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 jalapenos, seeded and minced (I make things easier by using a can)
3 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 cups Jack cheese, shredded (tonight I'll be using pepper jack, and I bet it will be amazing!)
Sour cream and cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tortilla strips on greased baking sheets and bake 15 minutes until crisp. Set aside.

Saute onion, jalapenos, and garlic in oil for 3 minutes until soft. Add 2 cans of tomatoes (drained) and one can WITH liquid. Cook 5 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer 20 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in beaten eggs, salt, and pepper.

Coat 9x13 pan with a little sauce. Layer half of the tortilla strips, half the sauce, and half the cheese, then repeat.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

If you want, you can add cooked, diced chicken to the recipe. Both options taste great!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Ok, so I finally got back into the swing of things and planned my menus for this week. I used to do this every week, but somehow when Thomas showed up a lot of things went out the window. I'm starting to pick them back up, now, so here is the menu for the week:

Monday: Hamburger Cheese Bake
Tuesday: Chilaquiles
Wednesday: Crock pot meatball stew
Thursday: Slow-cooked lasagna
Friday: Crust-less sausage quiche

One of those might get dropped if we end up needing to eat up leftovers - in which case I'll probably just use it again next week. :)

It is nice to have a plan again!

Potty Training

Yes, friends, it is happening today. If we continue successful it is happening this week. And if all the fates smile upon us, the training part will be over and we'll move on to "using" next week. :)

Not that I really think that will happen.

Still, it was time to give it a try. Jonathan has been interested for a few months. He's been really interested for the past few weeks. And he's been throwing FITS. SERIOUS. SCREAMING. BLOODY. MURDER. FITS for the past few days whenever we put on a diaper.

The time has come. So far we're 3 for 4, which I consider highly successful.

If you think of it, pray for lots and lots and lots of patience for me this week, will you?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

WFMW - everyone needs a mommy

When the day just isn't going well? And the week really hasn't, either?

Call Mom.

It works every time.

(Want some more tips? Check out Works for me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer)


Ashley has a great post up today about teatime with her daughter.

I learn so much from other mommy friends/bloggers.

For Heather

Today is the day! Go here to donate. And if you can't give financially, remember to pray. Because that is more important anyway.

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read my first post on the subject here.)

Oh, he is SO two

"No, NO! I do it self!"

"No! No kisses!"

"No! No hugs!"

I want him to grow up to be independent, but I'm not sure I wanted him to be quite so very independent at age two!


Jonathan has begun to participate in his "night-night" prayers before bedtime. Now, instead of us just praying with him, we'll ask him who he'd like to pray for, and often he'll just interject prayers as we go along. Last night Jonathan's prayers included the following:

"Be with Maggie, be with the kitty-cat. Be with the bike."

Maggie is my parents' dog, the cat belongs to our neighbor, and the bike is his new birthday tricycle. He is definitely praying for those things that are important in his life! :) Actually, though, Jonathan's prayers aren't always so funny - often they include requests for God to "be with Grandmommy and Granddad and Christopher" and other family members. So sweet.

And while I'm updating...
At two years old, Jonathan is a bundle of energy. I am so very glad that we live where we do - we have at least a small backyard, and more importantly we live at the end of a little residential "cul-de-sac" of sidewalk (not street) in our complex. I can let Jonathan run around outside without fear for his safety - we taught him how far he could go, and he is very good about staying "in bounds".

He loves going to the park for Mom's group and will often ask during the week "go to park? See friends? I'm pretty sure he can sort of keep track of the days, too, because if we miss a week he gets confused and starts asking frequently why we aren't going to the park to see our friends! On Monday Ashley invited us to come hang out at a park with them, and Jonathan spent two hours running around non-stop with Autumn and Hunter and another little boy who was playing there. He had a blast! If he could live at the park with other kids, I think he would.

Thomas is still his smiley self, and a joy to be with. I love just snuggling with him, or holding him on my lap and "talking" back and forth with him. He is so undemanding that sometimes it is easy to just set him down and go "get things done" or spend far more attention on Jonathan (who is demanding!) - but then I look at him and he smiles at me, and I remember that what Thomas really wants right now is just to be looked at and smiled at and talked to and held. I wish, sometimes, that I could just spend all day doing exactly that!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Laundry pile update:

Mid-way through (the Thomas-boy didn't like losing my attention!)

And finished!

I didn't take pictures of the other loads that are in the works and will get finished tomorrow - one is up on the line outside waiting for sunshine to dry it. :) Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I can wash and dry faster than the boys can create dirty piles!

Can you tell the boys apart?

Same outfit. Same car seat. Same age. Um, different blankets.

Which kid is which? :)

Tackle It Tuesday

I am feeling incredibly unmotivated today. What I'd really like to do is just sit and cuddle my smallest son. Even better, lie down and cuddle my smallest son.

But. Life doth require more of me than that. :)

So I think that today is a good day to start participating in this:

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Here is (part of) what I'm tackling today: the laundry pile. For lo, it hath multiplied and is fast attempting to subdue the earth.

The little guy in the middle is the one I'd rather be cuddling. :)


From my very own garden!

For Heather

Some of you may have heard about this already - it is certainly making the rounds of the internet (at least the corner where I hang out!) Heather is a Christian mommy-blogger who just found out that she has a brain tumor. She and her husband are going to Mayo Clinic on April 25th, and praying that the doctors there can help her. This is, obviously, going to be a huge financial drain on their family, particularly since one of her children has lots of medical needs (you can read Emma's story here). So BooMama is organizing a love offering to help them out. Please take a few minutes - read a bit about Heather's journey (only a week, but such a long week) and read what BooMama has to say. Pray for Heather. And then consider giving, if you can.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Reading Thing update

Remember the Spring Reading Thing? I promised to give little reviews as I went along, so here you go! (If this is the first you've heard of it, go read this post at Callapidder Days. And then join in!)

I’ve discovered something interesting as I’ve embarked upon my reading list. There is a reason that I generally only read light fiction and mothering/vocation/spirituality books. Light fiction (humorous, sci-fi, romance, some modern lit) is restful. I can retreat from the world for a few minutes and come back refreshed. It doesn’t require any real effort from me – I can simply enjoy it. And right now, that is often what I need. Two children who have continuous needs throughout the day, and a husband who would like some attention in the evenings as well leave me pretty exhausted, and retreating into a book is just that – a retreat. And I think a reasonable and necessary one.

Vocational books are restful in a different way; they are encouraging (other mothers feel this way, too!) and helpful as I look for ever better ways to order my life and strive for holiness in motherhood, my God-given vocation.

Books that fall outside these categories are just not helpful at this stage in my life. Case in point: The Picture of Dorian Gray. I have no doubt that this is a good book. I would probably even agree that it is a classic. After all, it is a re-telling of the story of Faust, so the basic material is certainly classic! But I hated reading that book. Not because it was particularly hard – surviving Torrey certainly taught me how to read hard material and this wasn’t anything like the most difficult thing I’ve read – but because it was so dark. It was hideous to watch a soul being poisoned. I hated it by the end of the first chapter and kept hating it for the rest of the book. I finished it out of nothing more than stubbornness, and I’m not sure I’m glad that I did. I am seriously considering learning from this experience and saving Demons for another time of my life.

If you have extra emotional energy, and care to expend it on a classic book, then I’ll recommend it. It is well constructed and possibly well written (although to be honest, it was not what I was expecting from Oscar Wilde, and I’m not sure I liked his prose as well as his drama). But if you’re a mom and trying to keep your head above water in normal life, this is NOT the book to retreat into!

I can, however, recommend some of the other books on my list. Straight Up is an amazing novel. I generally steer clear of “Christian fiction” because, frankly, so much of it is bad writing. Lisa Samson breaks that mold in a well-constructed story about two deeply flawed women who encounter God in two completely different ways. I can’t tell you too much more about that without giving a lot away, but I can tell you that the characters make you care about what happens to them. And the book includes the best conversion I have ever read. It makes you want to stand up and cheer.

The Eyre Affair is also a lot of fun. Suspend your disbelief and embark on a ride through time, space, reality and fiction. Jasper Fforde has lots of fun with idiosyncrasies of the English language, and I laughed out loud quite often. Sarah, you should read it – you will love the bookworms (yes, worms) who read/eat Mansfield Park and poop apostrophes. :)

Girl in Hyacinth Blue is decent. I didn’t particularly like or dislike it. And I can’t think of much interesting to say about it…so no real review on that one. Sorry! :)

And now I come to Parenting in the Pew, which Amber also just read and asked me about (which actually was the impetus for this whole post, so thanks, Amber!) :) I’m not going to review the whole book, because Amber’s review will give you a basic outline of what is in it. I’ll just say that I didn’t like it, and tell you why.

The first eight chapters of the book are pretty non-objectionable. The premise (that we should be teaching our children to worship God in church, not teaching them just to sit still and quietly) is good and true. She develops her reasons for the idea adequately, and provides some hands-on ideas for how to help children participate in the service.

My biggest problem with the book is the author’s inconsistency. She makes a very good, practical, and compelling case for involving our children in worship (chapters 1-8) and then denies them participation in a central part of that worship (chapter 9). Everything in me is offended by the idea that children are old enough to participate in prayers, singing, monetary offering, and listening to the sermon, but are not old enough/mature enough to participate the sacraments. We worship God as we give him our praise, our prayers, our money, and the bread and wine. We also worship God in our reception of his good gifts to us. Denying children participation in God’s gifts, while maintaining that they must participate in worship by listening to an entire sermon at age four (!!!) seems inconsistent at best.

Granted, this is a very Anglican way of looking at things. But my Baptist self (remember, I was raised Baptist/Non-denom) was also upset. Mrs. Castleman writes about how her boys were required, before they could receive communion, to write out their testimony and read it out loud to the entire church. Perhaps her boys were just incredibly socially competent at a very young age, but I find that an appalling requirement. I remember how terrifying it was, at age nine, to simply walk down the aisle at church and stand at the front (with lots of other people!) when I wanted to be baptized. Had I been required to make a verbal testament of my conversion, I would likely have decided that it wasn’t worth it. Besides being appalling to my remembered-nine-year-old-self, I also think it is simply wrong to require more than simple faith and basic understanding of a child who desires to receive the sacraments. Mrs. Castleman admits that her boys loved Jesus and desired to receive communion, but says that they were denied it until they were “mature enough”. I do not agree that it is up to a parent to decide when their children are “mature enough” to participate fully in the life of the church, including the reception of Christ’s gifts in the sacraments.

So, both my Baptist self and my Anglican self find Mrs. Castleman to have a good premise, some good ideas, and a woeful lack of consistency. I can’t say that I’d recommend the book to anyone – I’m sure there have to be better ones out there.

Those are the ones I've read so far. Now that I think about it, I actually get a lot of reading done in between parenting the boys and cooking meals and spending time with my husband. I guess even the busiest moms make time for the things they really care about! :)

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Grocery game update

Because this is just so much fun. :)

This past week was a big bill - I had a bit of sticker shock at the register. Still, it makes sense if you consider that it included:
2 large boxes of diapers
1 large refill package of wipes
1 package of D batteries (for Thomas' swing)
1 bottle of baby wash
3 packages of toothpaste (stocking up on sale with coupons)
10 cans of cream of chicken soup (I have never seen such a good sale on these before!)
and various other groceries such as yogurt, fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, etc.

Original total: $170.75
Club card savings: $ 46.98
Coupon savings: $ 20.00
Total paid: $103.77

It is amazing how quickly the grocery game pays for itself. This week alone paid for 1/3 of the newspaper subscription for the year. Previous weeks have more than paid for my first 10 weeks of grocery game lists. I'm so glad someone started that company!


I signed up for a "fitness kickboxing" class through the City of La Habra. It is part of my quest to not be 20 pounds overweight for the next year. :) The class advertises itself as a workout that "burns 800 calories an hour!" I was a little skeptical, until my first class this evening. They are so. not. kidding.

I'm already sore. I don't even want to think about what my muscles will feel like tomorrow. Part-way through the class I had to sit down or risk passing out.

All I can say is: that is some post-partum workout!

I haven't felt this good in a really long time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Yummy recipe

Last night I didn't feel like cooking dinner, so I cooked breakfast instead. :) This recipe started out as a regular quiche, but I tweaked quite a few things based on what I had on hand and what sounded good.

Crust-less Sausage Quiche

1 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
12 oz. ground pork sausage
4 eggs
1/2 c. ranch dressing
1/2 c. milk
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
about 2 tsp. taco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion in butter in a large skillet. Add sausage and brown. Drain, crumble, and spread in a deep pie plate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, dressing, and milk. Stir in cheese, then add taco sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour over sausage in pie plate.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes more, until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

I served this with apple sauce and toast on the side. Yum!

Good books for toddlers?

I'm on the hunt for good toddler books, and I'm hoping my myriads of readers out there can help me. :) Jonathan loves to be read to, but he still has a fairly short attention span. He's not ready for Bill Peet stories (too long), or Amelia Bedelia (too complicated) or the Churchmice books (over his head). (Just to give you an idea of what I've tried.) "Early reader" books tend to be about the right length, but the ones I'm finding at the library are just terrible. I'm starting to understand why no one likes to read anymore - the books are so bad I'd refuse to learn, too!

I'd like to find books that are short but with good, engaging stories. They've got to if you know of any, could you please comment and share?


More on cloth diapering

I've had a few people asking follow-up questions on my cloth diapering post, so here are my suggestions:

If you're starting out with an infant, this is what I would recommend:

36 regular chinese prefold diapers
4-6 small Bummi Super Whisper Wraps
4-6 medium Bummi Super Whisper Wraps

The links are to the items available at CottonBabies. No, I'm not getting any kickbacks for recommending them - I just think they have good products for good prices. Plus they give you free shipping for any order over $74.95. If you buy 36 diapers, and 4 each of the small and medium Bummi wraps, your order will come to $139.00.

I recommend getting the small AND medium wraps right away, because you'll get free shipping that way and because your baby will most likely grow out of the small wraps within about three months. I do not recommend buying the small "infant size" cloth diapers, because the regular sized ones work just as well. It is an extra expense you can do without.

If you have a washing machine in your home, I highly recommend using it as a "diaper pail". Just put it on a soak cycle and spin it out once a day if you haven't washed them yet. Baby poop, particularly if you're nursing, can just be dropped straight in - no swirling in toilets needed! For older toddlers just add a diaper liner to catch the poop, which can then be easily shaken off into the toilet, and the diaper dumped into the washing machine. Easy!

Cotton Babies also has a page of "everything you need to know about cloth diapering" that is quite informative and will give you lots more information than I can type out here. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

WFMW - cloth diapers

I've been spending an awful lot of time doing laundry, recently. It seems like there is at least one load that ought to be done every single day. Sometimes that feels pretty overwhelming, and it is easy to think "if only I were using disposable diapers, I wouldn't have to work so hard!"

So easy, in fact, that I found myself thinking that pretty often last week. Until I actually sat down and figured out how much money I was saving every time I washed a load of diapers instead of paying for the same number of disposables. It is really pretty impressive.

I wash about 30 diapers in each load. 30 disposable diapers at the BEST price I can find (17.7 cents each at Sam's club) = $5.31 that I'm not spending. $5.31 x 3 loads a week = $15.93 not spent each week.

Is it worth it? Well, it takes me about 10 minutes to hang a load of diapers on the clothesline. And I don't fold them when they're dry - just lay them all on top of each other in a stack, so the time spent taking them down is neglible. Maybe 12 minutes all told for each load, or 36 minutes for the week.

That gives me an "hourly wage" of $26.55. Not bad for hanging laundry! Somehow knowing that I'm saving money at a high hourly rate helps me see the value in the work.

Not spending $65 on diapers each month works for me. Especially considering that our initial cost for the cloth diapering supplies was less than $130! And truly, it is no harder to dump a cloth diaper into the washing machine (which we use as our diaper pail) than it is to dump a disposable in the trash. The real difference is in the amount of laundry, not the "ick" factor.

Besides: cloth diapers don't leak nearly as often as disposables do. :)

Cloth diapers really do work for me. Extra laundry and all.

Check out Shannon's site for more WFMW tips!


Thomas is all smiles these days. He loves to have me "clap" his hands together - it is guaranteed to bring lots of grins. And sometime after nursing, if he's not sleepy, he'll look up at me and coo and smile and make funny faces. He's getting to be so much more interactive, and it is pure joy to get to smile back at him. Thomas-boy, I sure do love you.

Ants!! AHH!!!

Thus wailed my son this afternoon. I was letting him water the garden while I hung laundry on the line, and evidently he flooded an anthill. The poor child was covered in ants. On his arms and legs, in his clothes, inside his diaper, in his hair. It was a disaster, and he was so horrified! I stripped off his clothes, brushed as many out of his hair as I could, took off his diaper and dumped him directly in the sink for a bath. It took awhile to get them all out of his hair, but I think we succeeded. Poor child! I guess next time I give him the hose I'll have to watch more closely. I knew we had anthills in the garden but I just didn't foresee that result.

I was quite properly sympathetic during the whole ordeal.

May I please giggle, just a little bit, now? Because it really was awfully funny. :)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter links

Arise! from Shannon - George Herbert is always the best!

John Chrysostom's Easter Homily

Jessica and Elena don't have much up for Easter day, but they've written quite a lot during Holy Week, and their sites are always worth checking.

My sister, Sarah, has some good thoughts on Holy Week as well.

Enjoy. :)

Another Easter thought

This is the crucifix at the front of my church. On Good Friday the purple veil of Lent was removed, and I saw again the starkness of the crucifixion. It is hideous. God among us, dying the most painful death that man could imagine. It hurt to look at it.

Today I saw it in the early dawn of Easter morning. It is still hideous, but that is not why I cried. I looked on Him who gave himself for us, and I saw love.

Holy Week, spring cleaning, and Easter

A few days ago Jessica wrote an inspiring post about holy week and spring cleaning. I decided to try to put her good idea into action, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Not only are the results good for my home and my family, but I think the process was good for me, too. It is good to spend some time cleaning a home and considering how Christ cleans out his own home - my heart.

Another good post on the subject is from Elena...she combined her spring cleaning with putting up pictures of Jesus in her home.

Today is Easter, and He is risen! My home is ordered and clean and lovely. Lord, make my heart so as well.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Holy week

Holy week with children is very different from Holy week without them.

I took both boys to Tenebrae on Thursday. It was a serious challenge getting out the door by 6:30am. And it was an even bigger challenge keeping both boys quiet during the service. During a normal mass, I can sit in the back and not worry too much about audible not-quite-whispers and short-but-loud "I'm hungry!" cries. There is just more noise in general when the church is full of shifting and shuffling and breathing people. But at Tenebrae, there are only a few people there (12 this year). We all sit at the front in the choir loft, and there just isn't any "cover" for my not-silent boys. So much of my attention is required to make sure that we don't make it difficult for everyone else to pay attention. It makes it hard to pay attention.

Still, I'm glad we went. Tenebrae is my favorite of the Holy week services (barring the Easter Vigil, of course!) It is an inverse of the Easter Vigil - we begin in light and as the service progresses, candles are extinguished until we leave the church in darkness and silence. The texts are all about the crucifixion without actually talking about it - prophesy instead of gospel. It isn't as heavy as the Good Friday service - it doesn't stop you in your tracks, but it makes you slow down and consider. It is a transition from Lenten preparation into the actual Passion narrative.

Gabe went to the Maundy Thursday service and kept the "watch with me one hour" vigil in the night. I stayed home with the boys.

Friday at noon we all went to the Good Friday liturgy. Thomas slept through the service, but a two-hour service that spans the beginning of naptime is tough for a toddler. Especially when said toddler slips, falls, and puts his tooth through his lip. Poor kiddo.

The church feels heavy and still and full of silence on Good Friday. Even a crying child can't mar it completely - everything feels muffled in dark velvet sadness. The starkness of the crucifix when it is unveiled is in strange and jarring contrast - a reminder of the cruelty and sharpness of the man Jesus' death. Death which is made so real as we watch the sanctuary candle - the symbol of Christ's presence - flicker and die into darkness.

And yet even then we can't quite keep the secret. We "glory in your cross, oh Lord, and praise and glorify your holy resurrection; for by virtue of your cross, joy has come to the whole world."

So we come to today, Holy Saturday, where we live in the knowledge of Christ's death and also the anticipation of his resurrection. Today is the "between-time". Today I live and work in a strange unsure place - we can't celebrate yet, but we can't pretend not to know the end of the story.

Dr. Sanders writes eloquently on the subject of Holy Saturday here. Thanks to Jessica for finding it. His opening sums up how I feel today exactly:
The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is called Holy Saturday, and it’s hard to know exactly how you’re supposed to feel on this day.
Today I live and work and wonder how I'm supposed to feel. But tomorrow is coming (oh-so-early - 5am Vigil!) and it will be Easter. Tomorrow, we rejoice!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Which early church father are you?

You can find out for yourself here. Hat tip to Jessica for finding it. :)

My results:

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!
You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thomas update

I haven't been posting much about Thomas, because, well, he's an infant. He eats and sleeps and poops and sleeps some more. In fact, he sleeps much of the day. Unfortunately, he thinks that the best time to be awake is between 6pm and 11pm. But we can't complain too much, because he's amazingly good about sleeping nearly solidly (usually only one waking!) from 11pm to about 6am. Blessed baby!

At nearly two months, however, he's starting to become more of his own little person. He looks like "Thomas" now, rather than a second little Jonathan infant. And he most definitely has his own little personality - very mellow, but with a few quirky opinions. One of his strongest opinions is that he does not like to sit in a wet or messy diaper. When he cries it is most likely because he wants his diaper changed. Once laid on the changing table, as soon as I start unsnapping his clothes and taking his diaper off, he gets a sappy grin on his face and coos.

He is definitely smiling when he's happy. Always during diaper changes, but also sometimes in the evenings when we're playing with him, he'll grin at us. Thomas doesn't just smile, he grins.

His other new ability is finding his hands. He has discovered that he can get his hands to his mouth and suck on them, and he sure does enjoy it! I enjoy it, too, because it means he doesn't always want to nurse or suck on my fingers. :)

He's sitting beside me right now, grinning away. See, isn't he adorable??

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

WFMW - carry-all bag (Car Edition)

I've always hated having a messy car. When I was in college it was pretty simple to keep it clean - I really only used it to get to church and the occasional tutoring job. Now that I have two kids and do lots of errands, it is a different story! There is just so much STUFF that ends up in the car! Lots of it can be corralled in the diaper bag, of course, but what to do with the extras?

My solution:

This bag goes with me whenever I'm off to do errands (assuming I remember it - when I forget I regret it!) When I come home, all the odds and ends get dumped into it - whether that be the day's mail, or trash, or sundry toys that were dropped on the floor, or library books, or our leftovers from lunch. It gets carried into the house along with the boys and the diaper bag, and I deal with the contents as soon as I walk in the door.

The result: we always begin and end with a clean car. :) Works for me!!

For more tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Jonathan's latest sentence:

Look at that, Dad: a chair, getting washed.

This was while wiping down a chair with a damp rag. I think he got the initial idea from me (I wet-dusted the furniture last week) and today's trip through the car wash re-interested him in washing things. :)

By the way, do you know why car washes are cool? Because they make so much NOISE!!!!ZZZ!!! ZZZ!!!!ZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, he is such a little boy. :)

I feel like I might start sounding like a broken record, here, but Jonathan's language acquisitions continue to astound us. I never knew how much fun it would be to teach, observe, and enjoy a toddler's time learning to speak!