Friday, March 1, 2019

The quiet days of February

It was a quiet month over here. 
We began the month of February with a fun family outing to celebrate the Presentation of the Lord, but then things slowed down. We had to cancel a game day with friends (twice) because they were sick, so even though we didn't get to see them, we wound up with unexpected quality family time. In fact, quality time with family and friends wound up being a major activity last month. 

I skyped with a friend from school who I hadn't communicated with in about 3 1/2 years. It was so delightful to catch up with her and talk about God, books, writing, and where our lives have taken us. 

I had a "baking day" with one of my friends, we went on a picnic with other friends, we went to a birthday party and we made donuts. 

My husband spontaneously took us to dinner of very delicious pizza at a local restaurant we'd never visited, we had a family "coloring party," we made raised donuts, and my husband came home from work early, took care of the boys, and made dinner one night. 

We read many books (I introduced my toddler to Amelia Bedelia, who he calls "A-Milly Billy-da!"), visited the library a bunch, and enjoyed afternoon coffee with our neighbors. The week of Valentine's Day, the children's librarian made roses for all of the parents and caregivers with an attached note of gratitude for all that we do. This kind gesture really touched me. And on Valentine's Day, my husband surprised me with a beautiful white rose as a "Happy Baptism Anniversary" gift. It was a very St. Therese week of roses :) 
I was SUPER EXCITED to get a rose that used paper from one of the Madeleine books. 
I loved reading those books, playing with my Madeleine doll, and watching those movies as a kid!
I started attending a CanaVox reading group, where other women and I are reading about and discussing sexuality, marriage, and life issues from a natural-law viewpoint. I also joined a local Endow group, which is diving into St. John Paul II's "Letter to Women." 

The baby turned six-months-old, and began consistently growing cranky each evening at one specific time (but refusing to actually go down for the night until ten). So, the past couple weeks, I've been a bit of a grump in the evenings, but there was one night where the baby slept for seven hours straight, and another night where he slept nine hours and woke up once in that time to nurse. I'm realizing how easy it is to grow cranky when I'm tired, so I'm going to try really hard to be a more joyful, thankful person on the days when sleep doesn't happen. 

Every so often, I make bread (or muffins) at least once a week, but then I eventually fall out of this habit. Well, I just entered a period of "we need to bake all the time!" and I will neither confirm nor deny that my toddler and I (but mostly myself) finished off a huge loaf of whole wheat oat bread in 2 /2 days. My poor husband only got one or two slices! We're currently eating corn muffins, and this weekend I intend to make "hippie bread," using a recipe I found in a library book. Maybe it's the upcoming season of Lent that's putting me in the mood for bread, I don't really know. But it's delicious! 

My toddler was sick earlier on this week, so I let him have some "sick days" to focus on drinking fluids and taking it easy. I usually never allow screen time for him during the day, but to encourage him to drink water and bone broth (and to give myself a break from reading him story after story all day long) I let him watch some episodes of Shaun the Sheep. Yesterday, feeling much better, my toddler asked that we play cricket in the living room. I have no idea how to actually play that game, but I decided that it's the perfect game to play inside when it's cold out-he would just whack a little ball with his toilet plunger and run back and forth in the living room. I never really understood the benefits of that game until now!

In a way, I'm glad that February was rather quiet and subdued. It was a nice way to focus on family life as we prepare to enter the spiritual intensity of Lent-which begins in just a few days! I guess I've been mostly oblivious to Lent since my husband is doing Exodus 90 (and I'm doing a heavily modified version), so we're already basically doing our Lenten penances. But, I love Lent a lot, so I'm in the process of putting together a couple ideas for prayer things I can do myself, and something I can do with my toddler. I'm so excited! 

Anyways, in these few remaining moments of naptime (the toddler is singing from his bedroom and the baby is sleeping!), I want to leave you with some links to interesting things I've read this month: 

Kelly Mantoan is hosting a conference for Catholic parents who have kids with special needs, which I think is AWESOME! She has more info and ticket options (you can stream talks if you can't physically attend) here: Accepting the Gift. 

I love this thoughtful article on FemCatholic about how we can extend support to couples who are going through infertility: Ministering to Couples with Infertility: Dos and Don'ts. 

Shannon's discussion of why all Christians need Lent (not just denominations that are more liturgical-year-inclined) is fantastic: We All Need Lent.

This is a great article that dives into the importance of the Sacrament of Marriage, and how marriages are sadly being attacked by the normalization of certain practices when one spouse has early-onset Alzheimer's: When a Mentally Absent Spouse is Apportioned a Third of a Marriage. 

Along the lines of the world not understanding sexuality, I thought this piece-announcing the new policy for the Canada Winter Games-was so sad (but important for discussion): Canada Winter Games using new gender inclusion policy at 2019 event. 

On a much more lighthearted note,I greatly enjoyed this article on Jane Austen's characters: Hey Penniless Jane Austen Heroines, Millennials Get You. 

This podcast episode was so insightful as it explored the world of play therapy. If you're not very familiar with play therapy, I highly encourage you to give it a listen: Discovering the awesome of play therapy. 


  1. I'm so happy you were able to have some downtime! Also, if the cornbread recipe doesn't involve any gluten, please send it my way!

    1. Thanks! It was so nice, because I have a feeling that the next couple months will probably fill up quickly! Unfortunately, the cornbread recipe does have gluten. If I happen across a good gluten-free cornbread recipe, I'll be sure to let you know, though-one of my neighbors can't eat gluten, so I'm trying to get better at finding recipes she can eat so I can share baked goods with her and her husband.

  2. The rose made from book pages is really cool! What a neat way to reuse a book that is torn or falling apart.
    Gilana has been really fussy lately, too. She's been sick a couple of times, so I thought it was that, but then last Sunday I found a tooth in her mouth! Perhaps it was teething pain. My older two didn't get teeth until they were over 6 months, so I wasn't expecting it so soon.
    Thanks for sharing my post on Lent!

    1. Oh no, I hope Gilana cheers up soon! I'm interested to see when Matthias starts getting his teeth-he's been in "teething mode" ever since early December!
      Our librarians are so creative! One of the other librarians at our location made really cool turkey decorations (for Thanksgiving) and trees (for Christmastime) from books that had been partially chewed by dogs or otherwise damaged. She once commented to me that she never dreamed that her arts and crafts time as a kid would pay off in her professional job!