Gathering my thoughts: End of Summer Edition

  Outside my window:  Dusk.  The evening clouds drift across the moon.  I see our dying tomato plants, which will soon feed the chickens. 

 Listening to: Crickets.  Silence, blessed silence, after the girls are finally asleep.
Clothing myself in: A comfy sundress.

Talking with my children about these books: Summertime in the Big Woods.  I love the beginner Little House books, with their beautiful illustrations and early introduction to the Ingalls family.  And many of the things Laura does in this book, are like my daughter’s own summer.  Like helping in the garden and collecting eggs from the chickens. 

 In my own reading: I am trying and trying to finish “My Antonia,” my reading challenge book of the month.  But its been tough finding/making the time, and not being too tired at night.  I’m also being blessed by my “33 Days to Morning Glory” reading for my reconsecration on September 8.  My prayer life has severely suffered this summer, and this is a wonderful way to “restart” my devotions.

Thinking and thinking: About how I can fully entrust my life to the Blessed Mother, especially by asking her to “lend me her heart.”  About having a home of my own, not renting.  About how hard this summer was, and ways to keep life, and future summers, from being so stressful and crazy.  About seeing the tender care of Mother Mary in every aspect of my life, especially where things have been difficult.  About how to get Theresa to sleep through the night.  I think she finally needs/ is ready to wean, and this may make it easier. 

 Pondering:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves  

 Carefully cultivating rhythm:  One of the biggest challenges of this summer was the lack of rhythm, schedule, predictability.  I am thoughtfully trying to establish a reasonable and flexible, yet predictable, schedule for this fall.  My husband has returned to school (he’s a teacher) and I’m slowly trying to establish the schedule.

Creating by hand: I had hoped to sew a little this summer, but it never happened.  I did create a lovely birthday poster for Theresa, which is a tradition I started with Gracie.  I’ve also been clipping my abundant flowers and creating colorful bouquets. 

Learning lessons in: The need for grace.  The need for rhythm, a schedule, a certain degree of predictability for myself and my family.  The need for our own house, our very own home.   

 Encouraging learning in:  Gracie is anxious to start “school” (pre-school coop) and I’m trying to point out moments for learning every day.  We’ve been looking at the map of the U.S., seeing where family lives, and trying to read together more.

Keeping house:  Another monumental struggle.  Between the demands of the girls and my own exhaustion, cleaning that needs to be done is taking a long time, and just keeping the kitchen clean is hard.  I really need to see about having my mother’s helpers over… 

 Crafting in the kitchen:  Not much baking around here, since its been hot.  But I did make a key lime pie for my husband’s birthday last weekend.  A real one, with three limes and no food coloring.

To be fit and happy: I feel too hot and tired to exercise, but doing something would probably help.  Need to think about that…  Trying not to push myself too hard when I get tired, and to spend time outside with the girls, when they are whiny and needy.   

  Giving thanks: For my girls, and our new baby, due in March.

Loving the moments: When the girls are happy and want to play, read, snuggle.  Being outside in the glorious, cooler weather.  Listening to the choir at the college chapel, now that school has started again. 

 Living the liturgy: Getting to Mass for the Marian feast this month has been the best we can do.

Planning for the week ahead: Hoping to create and maintain some order in my house.  Adjusting to life with Bobby back at work.  Praying for patience and energy. 

 

 

My Brown-Eyed Girl

On July 11, we celebrated the first birthday of Theresa Rose, our third daughter and first brown-eyed girl.  I had hoped to capture some memories of my one year old bundle of joy, but July just rushed away from me, with day after day of frantic work and busyness.  So this is a little late, but still a heartfelt birthday tribute to my little Snickerdoodle, my Rosie Posie, my Doodle-bug.Happy 1st Birthday!Dearest Theresa Rose,

You are a little sweetheart, so precocious, always exploring, and adorably affectionate.  You started walking at 10 months old, probably to keep up with your big sister.  But you still walk the short-legged waddle, which I love watching, as you go back and forth across the house or yard.  You love to explore, pull things out of boxes, closets, etc., and also put things in boxes and closets!  You love shoes, and carry around whatever shoes you can find, leaving them all over the house.  You love your doll and stuffed animals, and will tightly hug them, carry them around, and sometimes pick up as many as you can hold, then try to walk with them. Cake!You have taken to climbing on beds, chairs, and are constantly up and down the back patio steps.  You have learned to go down backwards, too, but Mom still worries that you’ll fall over.  You love playing in the outdoor play set, opening and shutting its little gate, and you like pushing around your little carts and doll strollers.  You also enjoy being pushed around in the ride-on cars your grandma’s gave you.  Sometimes you sit to look at books for a few minutes, and you like lift-the-flap books.  As I write, you are playing on the little xylophone and you’re trying to do a simple puzzle.Love my rocking chair!You are so affectionate.  You play, play, play, and then come over to a big person, hold up your arms, and are ready for a hug.  You give Mommy lots of hugs around the neck, and open-mouthed kisses too, when asked.  You also reach for things with both arms out, so we call you “zombie baby” sometimes.  When you are sleepy, then you stop wiggling and get snuggly and cozy, and of course, you still snuggle with Mom and often nurse to sleep.  Hurray!You are our waterbaby, our little mermaid.  You love splashing in the wading pool, climbing in and out, and toddling through the sprinkler.  You had so much fun when we went to the water park, and its so funny to watch you open your mouth and try to drink the water.  You don’t mind if it gets in your face, or you get splashed again and again.  Splish SplashYou eat and eat and eat some more!  It amazes Mommy how much you eat, and how you always try new foods.  You love meat, and veggies, as well as fruit.  You like to feed yourself.  Sometimes its a big mess, but usually you finish all the food on your tray.  You have started repeating the “baby sign language” I’ve been trying to teach you, and you can do eat and nurse.  You also nod your head yes when you want something.  You understand so much these days, and can often follow directions.

Riding the duck.

In July, we moved your crib into your sister’s room, and the two of you are now sleeping in the same room.  It’s going pretty well, and I think you like being together.  You love your big sister.  When you nap at different times, you go to the door of the room looking for her, just as she constantly asks if you’re awake, when its your nap time.  You imitate each other, and like to play together.  Grace likes to cut up food for you and feed you, which she does well at this point.  You both love music, and you clap and sing and dance together. IMG_0263 You love to roll and throw balls, climb into chairs and sit like a big girl, rock in the rocking chair, and chase the cats.  You are nodding your head, trying to repeat words, and can stamp your foot.  You bring so much joy to our lives, and your cute little face never stops making me smile.  I am so thankful the Lord bestowed on us the gift of being your parents.  I love you so much, my little sweetie.

Love, Mommy