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. ​


I feel like I have arrived because, for the first time ever, I do not have to make my own copies. (Although, I also feel really guilty about this, like I should clearly be the person doing it.)

Me in Fictional Characters (Aspirational)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Random Assortment

~ I love this--animal sounds in different languages. I remember discovering the difference in Slovakia years ago and being fascinated.

~ What we're eating: Smitten Kitchen's Indian Cauliflower soup (so so good), Beef and cabbage stir fry (an easier version of pigeons--my favorite thing ever), and New England clam chowder (any recipe that has the ingredients we have).  And of course, always chili from September to March.

~ Catholics and the Politics of the Family

~ Why are we so far from NYC??

~ A wonderful meditation on disability, children, and motherhood.

~ On double solitude (add a kid to that and ain't nobody got solitude!).

~ On the monstrosity of childbirth:

The willowy midwife and the petite female obstetrician who was on-call brought in a big broad-shouldered male doctor, a henchman really, toting a ventouse that looked like some kind of medieval torture device. He pushed a small rubber cup into my vagina, then torqued his wrist as he screwed it into place, suctioned onto the baby’s head. My uterus contracted, the big guy pulling hard and steadily while I bore down. I moaned, and there was the cacophony of encouragement at high volume around me until — POP! With an audible thwap, the little cup flew out of my vaginal canal, and blood splattered all over him. The room seemed to gasp, and my husband and I shrieked. Later we realized we both thought that the baby’s head had popped off. This idea was mostly ridiculous, but also: totally possible insofar as by that point I understood that anything was possible.

Children are little death machines, they rip through your body. They chew on you. They are animals.We are animals, left bloody and with vulnerable bellies sliced after a good fight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Farmer's Market Flowers

Imagine how much work it was to find a small part of our apartment that is not a mess for a photo.

Friday, October 14, 2016


My mantra has always been that flatness has no positive beauty--it is only an evil absence of the beauty of mountains. But I'll dial back these thoughts a bit after a beautiful drive we took through a bit of the flat midwest at sunset last weekend. You know the rays of light that break through the clouds? Well, we saw about a thousand rays of light breaking through the clouds for miles and miles, spreading from left to right, from close to far away. It was a vast and striking picture of great beauty.

And after that, we had about twenty minutes of sunset--the sun was sinking slowly and the colors were gradually and constantly changing from orange to pink. Against the sun, trees and barns and houses were silhouetted--it looked like pictures I've seen of Africa at sunset. It was incredible--you couldn't take your eyes away or you'd miss part of the grandeur. (I wasn't driving at the time.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Not-So-Live Birthday Tweeting

My students were a little so quiet, so I announced it was my birthday and that they should speak up. They responded by singing Happy Birthday. Then, another student announced that it was his birthday, as well, so we all sang to him.

Birthday Live Tweeting

Also the kid slept through the night and didn't even wake up at 6:15--win!

Birthday Live Tweeting

This is my first year with a child who will sing (selections from) "Happy birthday to you" on command, whenever I suggest it, which is a real birthday advantage.