Monday, December 5, 2016


I feel like we're doing pretty good at advent, even though we're barely making it at life: The tree (fake and small) is up and decorated, my advent candles are up and we light them and sing before dinner every night, there are millions of nativity scenes on every available surface, and an advent calendar has been purchased and after dinner we're very excited to open a new window.

And Chester put out a shoe tonight, in which I've placed a piece of candy. (We told him all about St. Nicholas in preparation for the feast.)

And then on fb, I stumbled upon a picture of loads of shoes (I guess the parents get candy as well as the kids, and it seems one shoe is not sufficient--I should have used two) loaded with candy and oranges and children's books scattered around. And cookies were baked for St. Nick. Now I feel like an advent failure.

In my defense, I'm planning to bake cookies on Saturday, which I suspect will really happen since we're going to some sort of cookie party on Sunday. And I don't give Chester tons of candy, so I think one shoe is sufficient. And I don't understand why adults would need to get candy from St. Nick because they can easily get it from the cabinets. And half the time Chester is obsessed with oranges and half the time I have to stuff them down his throat, so that wouldn't be a really exciting food for him. (At this moment, on the other hand, he can't get enough of raspberries--if I put our three remaining raspberries in his shoe he would be thrilled but mama couldn't handle the mess.)

My apologies for this sleep-deprived ramble. As I mentioned, we're barely making it at life.

P.S. Advent is the best ever with a kid. He understands basically everything, so explaining it all to him is just wonderful. He tells everyone he meets right now that the three kings followed the star to find Jesus.

P.P.S. Last night we played an improvised version of hide-and-go-seek that involves wise men searching for the star. The kid loved it, and I even managed to surprise the husband.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I have hit the part of the semester where I have trouble opening doors.

Monday, November 28, 2016


If there's one upside of this cold (that I'm calling a sinus infection because I sound less weak to whine about the latter--and because, as far as I can tell you can't really be sure which one you're suffering from) it's the rediscovery of the neti pot. What an incredible invention. I can, temporarily, breathe again.


Thesis: Gilmore Girls is a contemporary remake of Anne of Green Gables

Monday, November 14, 2016


There is nearly always a toy in my bag: Chester insists on carrying one to school and the school insists that he is not allowed to bring toys with him. So I get to carry it around. Anyway, the one he brought to school today is a train that talks and, as I removed my books from my bag, it said, "My, what a busy day!" Yes. Yes it is.

Friday, November 11, 2016

On Politics

I think we need Tocqueville and Augustine more than ever.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Showering is something I now write in my planner.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Wearing a new skirt that makes me happy. (Morris-esque, right?)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Random Assortment

~ Herman Miller summer picnic posters.

~ Walking while black.

~ Free play as a luxury for those who can afford to create it.

~ Bob Dylan paints.

~ What we're eating: Shashuka with feta.

~ Mail carrier fashion.

~ Simcha on women's role:

But that’s precisely what happens when we start a sentence with, “Woman are good at …” or “Women’s job is to …” or “The thing that women can offer is …”
It doesn’t matter if you’re a conservative or a progressive, and if your ideas of womanhood are millennia old or newly minted.
Always, when you get specific about women’s roles, there will be a good woman somewhere who is serving God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and she will think, “But I’m not like that.”
I sympathise with anyone who tries to write about the role of women. It’s so tempting to just say, “Let’s keep it simple. Wives, obey your husbands. The end.”
I tried that myself, as newlywed – tried obeying the hell out of my poor husband. Later, I realised that what the poor guy really wanted was to live his life with the weird, cranky, specific woman he fell in love with.
He didn’t want The Catholic Wife; he wanted me.
And therein lies the truth about trying to nail down the role of women.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I hate costume parties, and, because Halloween involves them, I hate Halloween. However, I've been invited to a Halloween gathering and the only thing holding me back is the costume. Does anyone have suggestions for a low-weirdness outfit that can be made from things I already own? Bonus points for suggestions for an outfit for Francisco, too.

Monday, October 24, 2016


"Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma."


Thursday, October 20, 2016


23.5 months

He recently began his negotiating phase, "I a big boy. I drink beer." Edit: With a few more months of language development under his belt, it turns out he was saying, "When I'm a big boy, I drink beer." 

2 years!

He is obsessed with the mass. He has a cup he uses for the wine, and a cup he uses for the "body of Christ" and a little altar in his room (a white box of books) and a piece of bubble wrap he uses for a tablecloth. Other times he holds a cardboard tube that he calls his cross and like an altarboy he tries to lead us around the house singing, "Alleluia, Alleluia."''

He asks once in a while, "Where my birthday go?" And once suggested, "Mama took it." 

Today he claimed that some of the oatmeal in his bowl was a little bunny rabbit. The imagination on this kid!
The incessant talking! The boundary pushing!

A conversation this morning:
  Me: What do you want for breakfast?
  Chester: A cookie!
  Me: We don't have any of those.
  Chester: Maybe I go the store and buy some.
  Me: laughing.
  Chester: When I a daddy, I do that?

Thermometer (temperature)--"tempichemper"

25 months

Chester has been asking a lot about temptation lately, primarily, "What's temptation?" (He hears about it in the Our Father.) Talk about a hard one to explain. I did my best to put it in two-year old language--talking about eating too many donuts and not enough chili, which he was currently doing. And he seemed to get it because he brought up coloring with chalk on the steps versus coloring on the sidewalk. (He likes to color on both, we prefer he only write on the sidewalk.) And then he looked at my coffee and said, "Your coffee a temptation, Mama?"

He was pretending to cook the other day, when he went looking intently for his phone, and then pretended to see on it that two cups of water were called for. This is hilarious because he uses his phone which looks like an old-fashioned telephone, while he imitates my use of a smart phone for recipes while cooking. 

Chester has a friend--what a delight. There's one boy at daycare in the class above him who he especially gets along with. What a great reminder of the naturalness and joy of friendship. Edit: Yesterday his friend bit him. What a great reminder of the naturalness of sin. 

​His favorite song at the moment is Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which we've convinced him is a religious song. He really only likes the chorus. ​