Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Vegan Diabetic- An Intro and Menu

Ok, I'm not officially diabetic. I had gestational diabetes with all pregnancies, and I have Hyperinsulinemia, which is a pre-cursor to diabetes. I treat myself as though I am diabetic in the hopes that acting preemptively will be preventative. I am also not a vegan, although I'd really like to be. The one thing that has prevented me (aside from my coffee with half and half) is my need to control my blood sugar. I do this by balancing carbohydrates and protien within meals, and, as a vegan, it is tough to find pure protien sources and not be eating soy all day.

But I have great news! I think I am slowly compiling some menus that allow me to eat a vegan diet and control my blood sugar. I decided to start posting some of them since my own internet search for 'menus for vegan diabetics' gave me.....nothing.

I plan my meals based on grams of carbohydrate per meal/snack. 15 grams of carbohydrate is roughly one serving. Examples of one serving would be one piece of bread, 1/2 c. rice, pasta, potatoes, one small piece of most fruits. This then needs to be balanced by protien and/or fat to decrease the rate at which insulin is secreted. This is what it looks like:
Breakfast 2-3 servings
Snack 1 serving
Lunch 3 servings
Snack 2 servings
Dinner 4 servings

If I have done a longer run, I bump the first snack and the lunch up by one serving. I occasionally break the two snacks into three.
Below I have posted today's menu.

Breakfast- 1c. taco salsa black beans
Snack- homemade coconut yogurt mixed with NOW brand Vegan Support (like a protien powder and multi-vitamin in one. plus it tastes like berries!)
Snack- wheat thins
Lunch- alphabet cabbage soup w/ vegan bacon bits
Snack- orange, peanut butter
Dinner- potato pancakes (these were sooooo good!), brussels sprouts, salad


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ode to My Closet

Once, you were stuffed with clothes
some delightful, some spiteful I suppose.
And the laundry would double
Increasing my trouble
at finding peace and repose.

Well, what is one to do?
When quite clearly and so nearly
each shirt
must match
each shoe?

"Purge!" said I with determination.
So then commanded my station
and sorted sweaters, shirts, and pants.
"Be gone with you!" I cried.
"In this bag you will hide!"
Then in my closet, I did a dance.

Yup, I finally realized that finding the magic laundry system was not the problem. The problem was having too many clothes to manage. And this applies to 4/5 of my household! No wonder I couldn't keep up! Inspired by another blogger, whose name and blog I of course can't now remember, I realized I needed to drastically downsize our wardrobes. I've completed my closet and Alli's so far. I will finish the boys' sometime this week. I'm not sure how many of each item I kept. I think it was something like this:
7 pairs of bottoms (skirts, jeans, etc.)
9 tops
4 shirts for layering (we have cold winters and live in a very drafty house)
3 sweatshirts
5 sweaters
a couple dresses for church
3 pair jammies
1 pair grubby clothes
4 pair running clothes (me), dance stuff for Alli

That looks like a lot, but was still a significant reduction in our clothing. I filled three large garbage bags between my clothes and Alli's. While I'm not getting rid of them now, if I find we really don't need anything I took out, I will pass them along.

Here were my reasons for doing this:
1. I couldn't keep up with laundry.
2. I re-evaluated my reasons for having all of it to begin with and found those reasons were not valid at this time.
3. I was constantly fighting the clothes battle- keeping it washed, picked up, folded, organized, and put away.
4. I want to wash less clothing so I save on all the costs associated with laundry- environmental and otherwise.
5. I'd like to start line- drying again. Fewer clothes might make it more doable.

This seemed a bit overwhelming to me at first, but this was how I did it. I'll use the same strategy in the future.
1. Identified 3 pair jammies
2. Decided which bottoms to keep.
3. Decided which tops, sweatshirts, sweaters to keep to coordinate. I pretty much made sure the tops could be worn with at least 3 different bottoms.
4. Found layering shirts to go with tops and bottoms.

It wasn't too painful, but that may have been because I was still numb from doing (pre- purge)laundry for three days straight. : )

Anyway, that is my VERY exciting closet news. I'm thrilled.....I think I'll go pick out clothes for tommorrow. Or maybe just dance in my closet.


The Math Manipulatives Are On The Floor...

All over the floor, actually. My sweet Kai emptied out the (very cute) storage basket that held said math supplies, interspersing them with our still- unopened Christmas gifts. He topped that with our basket of completed school work. Of course, this was the year I used the most sustainable wrapping I could think of. I used brown paper bags with handles and wrote people's names on the tissue paper so the bags could be re- used. These brown paper bags are open on the top, so my family will now be gifted with their intended present plus dominoes...or Math-U-See blocks....or clock faces. I can see it now, "Yes, Uncle Howie, we do love you, but that is not really one hundred dollars....No, see, right here, it says, 'school money' ". At least I know where the 1000 cubes are. They were too big to fall in the bags.

Now, it has occured to me that I could go through each gift bag and take the math materials out. But you know what? I think I won't. I'm a bit sleep -deprived, I'm still in a funk over this year's Christmas (see previous post), and this may provide a laugh once it is gift exchanging time. Plus, I just purged our closets, and I wouldn't want my chaos v. organized balance to tip too far.
More on the closets later. It is really VERY exciting and requires its own post. I'm so excited that 'later' may be in about 15 minutes. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't Know Where To Start

It's been awhile since I've posted and I don't know where to start. Maybe a general update is the way to go and then I can dig into some things I've been stewing about.

We've just celebrated Christmas. We were able to give our kids some good quality toys this year- a first for our family. It was really exciting, and it is a good thing the toys are truly sturdy. The kids have been playing pretty much non- stop since Christmas morning.

We didn't go to Mass as B was on call and I ended up getting sick. In fact, because I was sick, my family didn't come over. We were expecting 21 people total, including my brother who lives out- of- state. They all went to my sister's instead. While I am truly glad they were able to get together despite the change of plans, and while I certainly wouldn't want to pass my 'bug' on to them, there was a bit of a hole left. That was the first time I had missed our family gathering in my whole life. Fortunately, several of them are coming over this weekend. I am really excited about that, and appreciate their willingness to make the trip! Normally, I take all of our Christmas decorations down on the 26th. I feel a bit confused as I am leaving them up until Jan 1, 2012.

We finally got snow today. The kids are so excited. In fact, they are out with B right now building forts, snowmen, and igloos. I have this fantastic book about traditional homes that shows a floor plan of igloo and hte process utilized to build one. I am really excited to read that with them! In other schooly news, we are taking this week completely off. While laying ill in bed, I went through all of our books and calculated how many days we needed to finish. It looks like we are right on target for June 29. This is fortunate as we anticipate spending the first week of July looking at houses and, assuming we find something, putting an offer in shortly thereafter. I think I've finally rested with the fact that we are, truly, Sonlight people. It just fits. We don't use it exactly as laid out, but I know very few Sonlighters who do. I think I finally figured out that it is such a high- quality curriculum that even using just the read- alouds and readers provides a challenging, thorough learning experience.

The things I'd like to post about soon include reversing the real damage to the earth; sustainable living and political agendas; modesty, Christians who choose headcovering, the definition of women's lib, what Christ was really asking us to do as Christians, and how those things converge. You know, light topics. : )

Well, that was a good start. Blessings.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rental Schmental

Have any of you previously rented?
Did you fill out one of those little checklists where you are supposed to document flaws in the house upon moving in? Were you aware that this is a sneaky tactic by landlords to be able to charge you for things you didn't do to the house because there is no way to document every single flaw a home has?

I decided, upon receiving the follow- up of this process from our previous residence, that I would like to send my own itemized list to the landlords.
If you are new here, read the previous two posts to familiarize yourself with our ordeal. You will be a bit lost without doing that, first.

Oh- I am going to use the rate of $25 an hour- as that is apparently what the landlord paid himself, and I also am charging for 'time spent doing ____' as that was used as a line item.

mopping up floor after first flooding.....................................$25
moving items in garage to avoid damage after first flooding.....$15
removing baseboards and cleaning up mold .....................$25
cleaning mold out of dishwasher............................$10
cleaning mold off bathroom ceiling..................$10
time spent trapping mice and cleaning up mouse poop in kitchen........$50
first refill of inhaler.....................................$20
mopping up after second, third, fourth, and fifth floodings...................$75
re- cleaning moldy areas in laundry......................$10
time spent wondering why I couldn't breathe.......$125
cost of trip when it was neccessary to vacate house- gas $30 food $18 drive time $50
doctor's appointment.................................$30
time spent in communication with landlord........$40
eye doctor appointment...........................$45
eye prescriptions........................................$10
time spent at doctor and eye doctor.......$50
time husband spent away from work......$50
cost of moving (again).........$200
time spent looking for different housing........$75
Please pay upon receipt.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Statistics of Moving

I have decided that every time we move it puts us behind by about 6 months. If you've read previously, you know we have moved 7 times in our almost 8 years of marriage. Let's do some quick computing.....ah, yes, we are 3.5 years behind right now. I can admit that a portion of this delay is because I am an 'interiors' kids of gal. Let me explain.

Did you know I was once an interior design major for three years? Yes, well, I was, and that is my passion. Because of that, I can't stand it when my living space is in shambles, when things are not organized to promote efficiency, when the toys are running the household, and when things are ugly. When we move, it takes time to figure out how our family uses the new space and how to use my decor to pretty- up the space. For example, I thought it would make great sense to do most of our schooling upstairs. The kids are all sharing one (large) bedroom, and we had a third room open for a school room. Except that, as it turns out, we like to do school downstairs and Mommy develops insomnia when she equates her bedroom with math and language arts. Which is why I am up at 11:30 blogging. For another example, the hideous floral wallpaper in the kitchen simply had to go and the space needed to be balances with some cool colors.

Well, it did.

The greater point here is that I think we (I) have come to grips with our space, and that we seem to be settling in to life in that space. On a truly bright note, it is happening about 3 months ahead of schedule. If this were any other move, we'd all still be walking around trying to remember the shortest distance from the yard to the potty. And that includes the grown- ups.

Yes, we've all settled in quite nicely. I found a tiny leak in the bathroom by the shower the other day. Alli immediately said, " We had better be able to fix it 'cause I don't want to move out of here!"

That was encouraging, heart- warming, soul- filling even. I agree with her, I love our house. We have trees. We have a great yard, bike riding space, a quiet neighborhood, a phenominal garage, a basement that is still pretty much empty, an awesome porch, and drywall. Can you believe it? We have drywall! We live across the street from a convent and have nuns as neighbors. Really, as a Catholic, can it get better? Christ in the Eucharist and nuns for neighbors. For my fellow Catholics, I needn't say more. ; )

So I guess that what it all comes down to is that even though we had a really bad expereince at our last residence, we are glad it brought us to where we are now. We hope to stay for a long time, to enjoy evenings on our porch, and to put up many Christmas trees in the front window. I think that potential is worth every move. Even if we are 3.5 years behind right now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Much Ado About Moving

Well, we're at it again. Moving, that is. The other night while trying to fall asleep, and in an incredibly stressed- out state, I tried to count how many times we've moved in our marriage. Want to guess? Come on, whoever is closest wins Dante's leftover dinner. No takers? Ok....drumroll......7 times. When I say it I hear the voice from Ferris Buehler's Day Off (I am that old, yes). Seven Times.....the Snooks have moved Seven Times. Understand we are not even a military family. Or research biologists. Or anthropologists. Or gypsies. No, we just move our entire household an average of once a year. We've been married for seven years ( or eight depending on which wedding you count from....which is another post entirely, sorry) and we've moved an average of every one of those years.


I am not going to go into the details of all the previous moves. I am going to provide a brief chronological outline of the events which led to this move because this was going to be our last move and it is kind of fun to see what derailed those plans. Here is a hint: I have horrid allergies and asthma. Also, my asthma had been completely controlled for 19 years.

Feb 2011 Moved in at 323 W Saginaw. Whole family immediately succombed to flu.

End of Feb 2011 Noticed I was using my inhaler all the time. I was up during the night wheezing. Decided that was one nasty flu virus.

March 2011 Still wheezing. Couldn't believe how long it was taking to recover from illness.

March 22 2011 Woke up to find laundry room full of water following heavy rain. Notified landlord.

April 2011 Decided I was either really out of shape or had a lung tumor since I continually couldn't breathe while running. (I've been running for 12 years ) Really missed a good run.

April/May 2011 Water continued to flood laundry room with rain. Re- notified landlord.

May 2011 More water.

June 2011 We were home more due to the end of the school year. Had a really heavy rain that flooded the laundry room again. Began having trouble making it through even a 2 mile run due to asthma symptoms. If you're a runner you know how awful this is. Started suspecting something wasn't quite right. Checked behind baseboards in laundry to reveal thick, black mold. E-mailed landlord to let him know we wouldn't be buying the house due to water problems and that I have a severe mold allergy.

July 2011 Asthma symptoms progressed to the point that I was not even going three hours between using my resuce inhaler. Unable to run.

July ( 20? ) 2011 By the time B got home, I had to either go the ER or leave the house for the weekend. I left. Began breathing normally after about 12 hours away.

July 2011 Notified landlord of severity of situation. Went to doctor who told me not to go back to the house. Landlord came that weekend and removed flooring, drywall, and insulation. I found more mold in another location in house. They bleached and painted over it. Spent $210 on prescriptions and doctor's appointments.

July 31- August 3 Went on vacation. Stopped all medications to see if I could breathe without them while away. I could.

August 3 Returned home at 7 p.m.

August 4 Woke up at 5:00 a.m. wheezing. Realized ( again ) that something was very wrong, and living in this house was not an option.

August 8-ish Informed landlord of previous and that we needed to find different housing. Landlord indicated he had a home opening up. Noticed that even with medications I had the sensation that a book was laying on my lungs. Intentionally left house as needed to relieve symptoms.

August 11-ish Symptoms worsening. Started two additional medications. Ever the mold sleuth, found more areas in laundry room. Informed landlord. Landlord indicated someone would be there to remove said areas.

August 15 Landlord's tenant supposed to move out of house that would be opening for us to move into. We had started packing.

August 16 E-mailed landlord about status of potential house. Received response that there had been a delay, was trying to figure out how long it would take, and would let me know.

August 17 Left house to relieve symptoms. No update from landlord. Drove by house with "for rent" sign. Called owner when we arrived home. Immediately solidified owner's impression of me as mentally unstable and emotionally volatile as I babbled about my concern about leaking homes and my inability to breathe. Went to look at house anyway. Liked it.

August 18 Went back to look at house. Stuck my nose in the wall of the ( damp) basement. Breathed fine.

August 19 Per owner's suggestion, went back to house after stopping my medications. They had given me a key and said I could stay for several hours to see how I breathed. Had stopped meds the night before. Felt bad by the time we were leaving our house. Felt better after sitting in potential house for two hours. Called B to tell him. Called owners to tell them we would take house. Very relieved and happy. Still no feedback from current landlord.

And that is it! Whew..... it was tiring writing it. So at this moment, I am writing away with 2 vans loaded in the driveway, a truck and trailer being delivered tomorrow to pack, and the potential of feeling normal looming in front of me. I can't even imagine what that will be like. Actually, I can. And I think I'll celebrate by going for a run.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Real Reasons We Homeschool

As of late, I have encountered many people who oppose homeschooling. Typically the conversation is one- sided (theirs) and not open to new thoughts (my thoughts). They usually dislike homeschooling based on what they have decided is homeschooling. Also, they usually don't really want to change their understanding.

Rather than have any more unpleasant and frustrating conversations, I have decided to create a list which will be my go-to script for future conversations. And here it is:

The Real Reasons We Homeschool
1. The cafeteria food. We can't be risking childhood obesity and atherosclerosis, now can we?

2. Summer Vacation. It would just be so inconvenient to have to transition back to having the kids home in the summer after the school yearr.

3. Lice. It creeps me out and I figure avoiding school limits the risk.

4. Socialization. Are you aware of how icky most people are? I mean really, all we ever do is complain about each other, so why not just avoid everyone?

5. Vaccination. I love that we are a beacon of supposed immunity in a sea of vulnerable homeschoolers. It's an ego thing and I'm totally ok with it. That's right. I flaunt our antibodies.

6.* I think teaching is a worthless profession and I don't want my children exposed to the likes of teachers. Yup, I homeschool (teach) our kids but think teachers are sub- par.*

7. Fashion/trends. We abhore them. We vastly prefer to spend our days wearing pajamas and slippers. If we feel really fiesty we might don last year's Halloween costume. ( Truly though- it is much cheaper to shop at Goodwill and hang out with other homeschoolers who don't care what we're wearing....ummm, ' cause they're dressed like a witch and a football player, too)

8. No regulations. We really like that we can keep our kids home all day, all year, and never really have to teach them anything. See, we figure if the state doesn't require we educate our children- even though we've decided to keep them with us to do so- then we don't acutually have to do it! Beautiful! We can just hang out with our kids, referee sibling squabbles, feed them all day, respond to "Mooooommmmm" constantly, and never have a moment to ourselves! Why isn't everyone doing this!?

9. Parent Teacher Conferences. I just can't rationalize spending 15 minutes 2-3 times a year doing this when I could do it over dinner every night. What a waste of time!

10. I don't have a '10'. And that is true homeschooler style.... : )

* In any seriousness, if there are any teachers reading this, please see through the cynicism. What I am saying in #6 is that our decision to homeschool our children IS NOT ABOUT YOU, your ability to teach, or whether we value you. We think you're awesome. Please keep blessing the kids in your classroom.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Hmmm....I'm tired!
Here is my list of what I did from my list : )
put away laundry
lifted weights ( easily one of my least favorite activities )
had great conversations with 4 friends, several of whom I hadn't spoken to in awhile
took the kids outside
did school with both Alli and Te
had Alli read to me out of a book we both really enjoy
stuck to our schedule....five gold stars for that!
completed a 'baking day'
partially cleaned both bathrooms

Whew. When I see it all written out like that I feel like I actually accomplished something!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All in a day's work...

HOT. It has just been so stifling, suffocatingly, swampily hot. It is the kind of hot that causes all of my higher functioning to shut down. Add to that sleep deprivation and recovering from a lenghtly exacerbation of asthma and you have a fairly worthless momma. At one point during the afternoon, while reading my newest copy of Family Fun magazine, I found myself thinking that all of the awesome games and crafts would be great to do with the kids- once I was able to peel myself from the spot where I had melted into our couch. For that moment, just thinking about acquiring the supplies for the activities was making me sweat more. Fun? Nope, that would generate more heat. Best to stay still, ignore the children, and wait for October.

Nonetheless, I did manage to accomplish all of the items on my to- do list. Please note that I had made this list at 7:32 a.m. when the temperature was within my workable range. I put the laundry away, unpacked from our trip, cleaned up the kitchen, and mopped the hard floors. In an act of utter desperation, I had the kids do a load of laundry Amish style. Well, really, I guess I don't know how they do laundry. But I didn't use a washing machine and I bet they don't either.

See, Charming Husband had not yet re- installed the washer and dryer following our Great Mold Eradication. I had several loads to do, so I dumped them all in the tub, added water, borax, washing soda, and 3 children, and told the kids to kick the clothes. They loved it, and the water turned dirty so I guess it worked. I then dragged the dryer in from the garage (hmm, bet that looked funny) as it was way too humid to line dry the clothes.

I did the least bit of school with Alli that I could possibly consider 'doing school'. We reviewed her new word list for the week and she read some of them. She seems to have a hard time blending short 'u', so we'll have to work on that with some games. I looked back through my calendar and we should finish Grade 1 on August 29. I feel good about that. I've had mixed feelings about schooling through the summer, but, given how much Alli loses in a week without school, I'm glad we've kept at it.

Well, I'm tucked away in my air conditioned bedroom now. Blessings to everyone.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fantastically Friday

We are utterly, completely blessed with wonderful friends. We went to a friennd's home for dinner tonight, which prompted me to realize this. We had a lovely evening, and the kids had a great time. They get along so well with our friends' children. They are also homeschooled....there is just something about homeschooled kids. : )

So today is fantastic because of the blessing our many friends are to us. Today is fabulous because the kids went to bed without any protesting, because I was made aware of some great vegan cookbooks, because good food fills the stomach and the soul, and because I tried garlic scapes and candied ginger in one evening. It was aswesome to realize that B and I were truly being consistent and following through on discipline with Alli. Because of fireflies, common ground, and challenging ideas...good books, great curriculum discoveries, and content children. Really, what more could we hope for.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Woefully Wednesday

Does anyone else feel like they constantly fall behind in school? I just re- worked our school schedule and we've already missed several sessions. The excuses are many; I only slept 'x' amount of hours and I'm so tired...or....we got home really late, so everyone slept in and that has just thrown our whole day off...or...I am so behind on housework that I'll just let the kids watch a few (7) more cartoons while I get caught up.

Hmmm. I sense a pattern that can be summarized in one tidy little word. Discipline. I lack it. I can't blame it on anyone else. I mean my husband is gone all day and the kids are pretty much at my mercy. My discipline-less, wishy washy, I'll-start- my- schedule- tomorrow mercy. You know, that was very therapeutic. Telling on my self, I mean. I'm not even going to delete everything I've written and replace it. Although, if I did, it would be with some exuberant description of the awesome teachable moment we had about the life cycle of the turtle, naturally followed by a make your own turtle shell craft. Documented with pictures. That would then be placed strategically below this paragraph.

Nope, no pictures. Just a statement that will hopefully some day lead to some pictures:
Tomorrow I will give myself ( and family) the gift of using discipline to follow my schedule. Even if Kai hits all day, I only sleep for 4 hours, the dog gains 5 pounds overnight, I notice a few more wrinkles, or can't find my envelopes, we'll use our schedule to make it through the day. And in doing so we're certain to accomplish more. Or at least to feel better about having the discipline to try.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer School

This summer we are doing school through July 31 and then taking 3 weeks off. We will still be doing math as my kids seem to lose their math skills within days. Our summer plan looks like this:

Meet with Alli 45 min. -phonics, spelling, copywork/dictation, math
evening meet with Alli - she reads, spelling review

Meet with Dante 30 min- alternate days between math and phonics

Read Aloud before quiet time- Little House in the Big Woods, In Grandma's Attic, Twenty and Ten, additional read- alouds from Sonlight Core K

Still haven't worked Faith reading in, so I need to do that.

I can't believe we are already 1/2 way through June! One of my goals was to slow way down, and I do feel like we've accomplished that. Hopefully I can stick to that goal and carry it into the fall!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A List of Three

1. School: This week in school we didn't. What I mean is that we did two days of science (birds), LA, and math. We then quit for the week in a desperate attempt to do laundry, clean, and switch over our seasonal clothes....and didn't get very far on that either! We did read a great book, Archaeologists Dig For Clues. The kids then excavated a significant portion of our play-yard which yielded a ceramic pot, circa 2000 AD.

2. Grumblings: The ugliness that often comes with Christianity. We are asked to be working towards love, folks. Would Jesus make people sign a Statement of Faith? Would he advise measuring some one's faith by their battle with depression? Or their attire? Or whether they have a wee bit of cotton tacked on their heads? Grrr.

3. Gratitude: My husband, who puts up with how emotional I am, and without whom I may have become a nun. My kids (of course). The awesome diversity that is evident in God's creation. My friends. Nature. Art. Hot showers. Filling an empty stomach. Our home. The ability to serve others. Pushing my comfort zone. St. Mary's RCIA program. My mom, sister, brother, and dad. Passions.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm Back?

It has been so long since I've posted that I'm not sure where to start. Here is my list of possibilities:
a. frugality and the desperate home decorator
b. Cathlolic and atheist, happily married
c. our most recent move/home
d. the skirts/dresses only movement
e. how insane topic 'd' makes me
f. realizing that we don't like Sonlight
g. converting to Catholicism
h. the pursuit of a different homeschool curriculum
i. my feelings about unschooling
j. gulp....I think I miss working
k. the fruits of following through with an overscheduled life

What do you think? Where should I start?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Woefully Wednesday

What is Woefully Wednesday?
Oh just a fun little way for those of us in the homeschooling world to VENT!!! It started on the web site for Home for All as a way for members to share the inevitable ups and downs of the home education journey. As I was writing my first Woefully Wednesday post, I thought, "Gosh, I'd really like to put this on my blog..."
So I did:

Wow....I'm so very tired! I must admit- this really was a woeful Wednesday. I had high hopes at the beginning of the day that I wouldn't feel the need to post in this category. That hope faded quickly. Did I mention we are moving? We are. So added to the normal stress of moving, everyone was grouchy today and Kai found any way possible to pee all over the floor. In fact, he managed to pee on almost every floor we have. He accomplished this by using the potty as though he were an old pro and then sneaking away and urinating wherever he could. He was relentless. I finally decided to put a diaper back on him for the rest of the day. He then quietly removed it when I was out of sight and, you guessed it, peed all over. Perhaps he was feeling my stress, perhaps marking his territory, perhaps he is just a two year old who is potty training. Whatever the reason, he wore me out.

I won't go in to the details of the other trials from the day. I'll simpy say: Halleluia for bed time, for a husband who knows when to take over, that moving is not an eternal process, and that friends are there to pick you up when you're down....or to just sit with you if you'd prefer to stay down for awhile.
cross- posted at Home For All

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Calm on My Soul

I just returned from Daily Mass. With my three kids. Who are all 6 and under. The day had not started out well (lots of fighting and screaming from 5:45 a.m.)and at some level I wondered if I was utterly insane to leave the house with them, let alone to take them somewhere where they would be sitting, quietly, presumably without touching each other.

I am not even Catholic yet, and this was their first experience with Mass. Alli did awesome, Dante catapulted himself over a pew, and Kai flipped through the pages in the hymnal with such force that I thought they were going to fly out of the binding. I've no idea how many times I said "Shhh!!", and I really hope we didn't leave any half- eaten jelly beans embedded in the carpet that covers the pews. I also have no idea how, after all of that, I left with a sense of peace. I felt utterly even, light, and calm. Actually I do know how. But, see, to admit it is to get closer to committing.

I can't say that I want to be Catholic. I feel called to be. It isn't 'fun for the kids', a popular choice, or one that even makes sense to me. I am a Democrat, for goodness sake. I don't believe abortion should be illegal, I don't believe homosexuality is a sin, and I strongly think women should be ordained. (Although don't get me wrong, I don't want our priest's job.) I guess the best way I can explain it is that it's like falling in love with your future spouse. There are things that you like about that person and things that you don't like. It is not that the negative things aren't there, but that, when you know the person is right for you, the negatives matter in a different way. So, yes, there are things I disagree with, but if the Holy Spirit can call me, I can let those disagreements rest with the Holy Spirit.

Mass was lovely and incredibly difficult at the same time. I wish I could remember more of the commentary on the Gospel, but I was focused on keeping Kai in the pew. Two people approached us afterward, said hello to the kids, and told them what a good job they had done. We looked at the nativity and the crucifix. Father came to the back at the end and introduced himself to the kids and asked their names. He blessed them, he blessed me. It was good, very good, and I left with a calm on my soul.