Halfway Through Lent and Other Thoughts…

We have reached the halfway point in Lent — yay us!  Lent has been just what it should be — difficult and beautiful and really, really long.  I know it has been good for me, how about you?

Well, on to the takes…

~1~

It’s My Little Sister’s Birthday!

My sister is hilarious.  She really is.  She’s got 8 kids, plus one in heaven, and she is one of those people who puts you at ease because she’s just so darn real.  The stories she can tell about her crazy life — she should be the one writing a blog!

When we were growing up, she used to run to me when any boys were bothering her — and I would go beat them up.  That’s right.  I would take care of business — I was a tough little kid.

Here we are as little kids…

In my defense, I believe the Church’s “just war theory” would confirm that I was blameless in these acts because, a.)  I was acting in self-defense or the defense of others, and b.) they were bigger than me.

That being said, it was awkward in high school when I would overhear one guy saying to another, “Hey didn’t that cheerleader beat you up when you were a kid?” Yeah, awkward moments. 🙁

And speaking of high school, there were a group of girls in the grade above me who hated me for some reason (I think it had to do with liking the same guy or something equally ridiculous).  It was now my sister’s turn to stand up for me.

One day they went so far as to dedicate an entire day to wearing cheap plastic fire helmets and naming it the “We hate Moira day”.  Apparently, they were trying to equate my red hair with fire — and they wanted to extinguish me … or something like that.  Oh, their creativity was astounding.  🙁

Anyway, my sister walked up to the ring-leader and really let her have it.  My sister is incredibly quick-witted and she could be fierce in the face of oppression — and she wasn’t going to stand by and watch some snooty girls hurt her big sister.

I have no idea what she said, but the girl was reduced to a puddle of tears and her plans to break me were thwarted by my little sister.  Yay for sisters!

And here we are in college. 

As we grew older, she seemed to be just one step ahead of me in most things.  She got married before me, had her first baby before me, and owned a house before me too.

And now I look at our kids and see a lot of ourselves in each of them.  It’s a bit like coming full circle when you see your kids running around together — laughing and joking with each other, the same way that we did as kids.

Well, if you’re reading this, dear sister, Happy Birthday to you!  I am so blessed to have a lifelong friend whose also my sister.  I love you, sis!

~2~

Blessed is She Brunch

Last week I went to a Blessed is She Brunch.  It was a nice, intimate gathering of perfect strangers who shared the common bond of being Catholic.

Being there confirmed something that I am always saying to my kids, “There are no boring people”.  Sitting down with these women from all different walks of life and just listening to a bit of their story — it just confirms how incredibly interesting people are and how worthwhile it is to give people a chance and get to know them.

We all have a story to share, and taking the time to sit down, share some yummy treats and good coffee, and get to know perfect strangers sure made for a lovely Saturday morning.

If you have a chance to attend one of these events, I recommend you go for it.

~3~

Time for Chickens

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Spring has sprung and the adorable little chicks are arriving at local farm supply stores around the nation.  I just love our chicks, and it’s time to get a few more.

Aren’t they cute?

Last year, I had horrible luck.  I paid extra for pullets (guaranteed females) but there must have been a mix-up — 4 of the 6 hens ended up being roosters.  🙁  So, we need to start all over again.

Anyway, it reminds me of a post I wrote about Chickens and Kids.  It starts with our decision to get chickens and build a ridiculously complicated coop — but ends up talking about internet safety for kids — go figure.

~4~

Free Time

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of leisure.  And I really do think this is an important topic, especially as a parent.

Just the other day, I was discussing with my son our decision to not allow him to see a certain movie.  I am convinced that how you spend your free time shapes you into the person you will become.  I really do think think it is that important, and because it’s important there are probably going to be a lot of  “no’s” said in this house.

As parents, we want our kids to have a fun, fulfilling life.  We really do!  But knowing the effects leisure has on their future happiness sometimes makes saying “no” necessary.

So this is my encouragement to all you parents out there.  We have to help our kids learn to navigate this world of ours.  Stay strong parents!

But don’t just leave it at “no”.  These might be moments to have an important discussion with your kids as to why something isn’t good for them.  Think of these requests as a real opportunity to share the beauty of our faith and the freedom won by sometimes saying “no”.

Stay Strong, and Keep Momming On

In the long run, I know our kids will appreciate all those “no’s”, but in the meantime keep dialogue open and keep finding those really good moments of leisure that you can say “yes” to.

~5~

How to Get Your Kids to Sleep Through the Night

If I were writing a book, I would entitle it, How to Get Your Kids to Sleep Through the Night Before the Age of 6.  And the thing is, most of us parents with littles are so sleep deprived that we would purchase the book without fully reading the title.

We would see the words “sleep through the night” and amazon prime that thing before we knew it.  The reviews, of course, would mostly be horrific because nobody wants to know that your kids probably won’t sleep through the night before the age of 6.  It’s just too depressing.

Maybe it’s just me, but my baby’s wake every 2 or 3 hours until the age of 2.  I learned long ago, it was better to take their lead and just keep them in bed with me so I could mostly sleep while they nursed.

But even after they’re weaned, they somehow find their way to our rooms many nights, until at least the age of 5.  Fortunately, we have a little couch that makes a nice bed for our little night visitors — so it works out.

But my point is, just accept that they won’t sleep through the night until they’re 6 and you won’t be so disappointed.  Low expectations keeps us happy around here.

~6~

I Was Born in the Wrong Century

I recently watched the BBC series on Queen Victoria. Though there were many historical inaccuracies and one not-so-innocent flirtatious relationship, I still was fascinated by the story of that time.

The last episode revealed to me that I was born in the wrong century.  Had I been born in any other century, I most assuredly would have made a good wet nurse.  I know — that whole wet nurse thing is just weird, right?

I don’t have a lot of skills, but the Lord gave me good milk.  I get these deliciously chubby little babies with rubber-band wrists and round little faces.  I really have little to do with it, so I’m not trying to brag here.  But I actually think it’s one thing that I could have done well if I lived in Victorian England.

Come to think of it — I was so heart-broken watching that mother say goodbye to her own little baby to take on the care of Queen Victoria’s baby that I would probably not have make a very good wet nurse.  I’m so glad I didn’t live back then!  Never Mind. 🙁

~7~

I’m Bad at Weaning My Kids

Somewhat related, I am good at nursing — but very bad at getting my kids to eat table food.  It’s just so darn messy.

Exhibit A: Messy Baby Fist Bump 🙁

And all of my children seem to want to feed themselves at a very early age.  As soon as my baby could sit up, he was trying to grab a spoon or fork and feed himself.  Who said independence was a good thing?  Not me.

Sadly, I have no patience for it and it ends up calling for an entire outfit change and loads of clean up for me.  And yes, I could just give him finger foods — but this kid likes what he likes — the messier the better, in his opinion.

I just find nursing a baby so much more convenient than having to prepare food, sit babies down, and convince them to eat enough food to constitute a proper meal.

Oh well, I guess that’s why God makes these kids so darn cute.  Anyway, we just keep moving forward.

Just one look from those chocolatey brown eyes makes everything better.

That’s all I got.

Linking Up With Kelly

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4 thoughts on “Halfway Through Lent and Other Thoughts…

  1. Wow Moira. I have to say I identify with EVERYTHING in this post, from accepting sleep deprivation to nursing over cleaning up a big mess! Your kids are adorable. I think Ursula and your littlest are about the same age; she is 21 months. Still nursing strong. Much love to you and your whole family. Fun hearing about Megan! Xo

    1. Gretha!
      So glad you can relate — you know what they say, misery loves company, right? Actually, I know you’d agree it’s a beautiful life and most definitely worth all the hassle. Stay strong over there and I’ll try to stay strong over here. And I still want to do a meet-up one of these years. Maybe next year as we’ll probably be staying much closer to home. I still want to get an airstream and drive across the country — maybe even to your neck of the woods? John is not so much in favor of the airstream — I’m working on him.
      love ya, Gretha!

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