The seventh anniversary of 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes is the linkup that begat all Catholic blogging linkups. When I first started reading blogs, I read Notre Dame football blogs, the blogs of friends, and blogs that participated in 7QT. 7QT has seen me through the second half of college, my Americorps year in Atlanta, newlyweddedness in Michigan, grad school, Mary’s birth, our 8 months in Louisville, and now Daniel’s birth and our new house. Come baby poop or high water, I always know that Fridays will bring new content from some of my favorite bloggers.

I haven’t participated too often myself (story of my blog, that sentence). The first time I wrote a 7QT post, I was pregnant with Mary and stressed about grad school. Mom-of-2 Laura wants to pat grad-school Laura on the head. You think you’re stressed? You get to start AND finish a task without having to wipe anyone’s bum. You sometimes sleep in so late you never even see the morning. You have grownup, educated conversations with OTHER grownups DAILY. Child, you do not know stressed. But stress is relative, as I repeat to myself like a mantra when my 3 year old is having an emotional reaction out of proportion to the situation at hand. I’m sure that someday future Laura will think Mom-of-2 Laura is silly too. It’s the way of things.

Regardless, I love 7QT, and I’m excited to participate today with 7 of my favorite Maryisms of late. She’s a comic genius, that one, except she isn’t trying to be funny 😉

-1-

Mary upon seeing a large bee: “Oh, look! A bat!”

-2-

Me: “Jesus is in your heart.”

Mary: “Little Jesus is so full of love in my heart! Little baby Jesus is in my tummy right here! My little baby named Jesus popped out of my tummy! She’s a little girl named Jesus!”

That escalated quickly.

-3-

“Uh, hold on, I just need to rest my toe for a minute.”

-4-

“When I grow up into a woman, I’m going to drink coffee and a beer.” #lifegoals

-5-

Waking up in her first day of preschool: “Today I’m going to high school!”

-6-

“What animal gets pork out of its body? Maybe…. an ox!”

-7-

Mary speaks French: “Bone apple Pete!”

Me: “Mary, what does that mean?”

Mary: “Spanish!”

Now go visit Kelly to find the rest of the quick-take-rs. She’s got a sweet megagiveaway going on this month too. Dontcha love October?

Seven Quick Takes vol. 7 (717 Day 5)

— 1 —

Day Five of Seven Posts in Seven Days! I’ve got to say, I’m really enjoying this project. It feels good to write and it feels great when other people like reading what I write. The only reason I’ve been able to write so much, though, is that Matt has been working or asleep every night this week. No offense, I like you guys and all, but if he were available I would be hanging out with him :-P. If- WHEN- his work life ever returns to some semblance of normal, I’ll try to blog sometimes during naptime like all the cool mommybloggers. So thanks, Jen, for serendipitously timing this project to coincide with one of Matt’s busy weeks. It’s been a good outlet. And thanks, ALSO, for continuing to host Seven Quick Takes Friday, in which we bloggers can throw seven disconnected thoughts into a post and call it good. I love it something fierce. Sometimes I think I return to blogging again and again just so I can participate in seven quick takes.

Stamped and notarized- SQT is the best linkup ever. (Gosh I'm so cheesey. Someone stop me.)

Stamped and notarized- SQT is the best linkup ever. (Gosh I’m so cheesey. Someone stop me.)

 — 2 —

If Mary is fussing, and you ask her what she wants, her answer will be one of the following:  Babies, cheese, slides (“shlides”), grapes, or Elmo. I think she has her priorities in order. (If pressed, she’ll tell you what she actually wants, which is helpful when she wants something completely different, like for me to read her a book.)

— 3 —

I had an epiphany this weekend while standing at a makeup counter at the mall, trying to keep the small one occupied in her stroller with board books. The epiphany was this: I don’t like wearing makeup. This is excellent news! Lately I have felt like maybe I should start acting my age and do something about concealing the bags under my eyes or the pimples on my nose. So I’ve spent precious internet time researching makeup options and application techniques. Then I trot off to the mall (a common occurrence given that Mary is a huge fan of their indoor playground) and try out the samples of my preselected brands. Instantly, my eyes feel dry and tired, Mary grabs my face with both hands and smears off half the foundation I just applied, and I start feeling hyperconcerned about how the remaining makeup looks on my face. Worse, when Matt sees me later, he says, “Are you wearing eye stuff? Oh. I like you better without all that.” It took several rounds of this ridiculous cycle, but at last I have finally come to peace with the fact that what you see is what you get. Makeup and I were not made to get along. Ahhh.

— 4 —

This morning when I was putting on my socks Mary pointed to each of my feet and said, “One, two!” I got super excited and told her how proud I was of her for counting. After much hullabaloo and high fives, Mary asked if I wanted her to do it again. Sure, sweetie! She pointed again and proudly chirped, “A! B! C!”

Mayyybe we’ll keep the counting champagne on ice for a little longer.

— 5 —

I’m pretty sure this is news to absolutely no one but me, but in case you also live under a large and hefty rock, Lorde’s album Pure Heroine is spectacular. I’m glad no one was around to watch me the other night when I was busting a move while cooking dinner. And trying to sing the high-pitched parts.

Casa de Laura.

Casa de Laura.

 

— 6 —

One of Mary’s Valentine’s Day gifts from us was No Matter What by Debi Gliori.

Highly recommended :-)

Highly recommended 🙂

Small asks Large, “If I was a grumpy grizzly bear, would you still love me, would you still care?” Large reassures Small over and over and he can’t do anything that will break their bond. When I first picked it up at a bookstore, I loved the book for its darling illustrations and sweet message of unconditional love. In the last couple weeks, it’s become a favorite at our house, especially as a bedtime story. Now I love this book because it reminds me to take a breath at the end of a long day and squeeze my kiddo tight, even if she has been grim and grumpy. I always want her to know that I love her.

— 7 —

Well, we can’t end on THAT sweet and sappy note. Here’s one more Mary story, and hopefully no grandparents or godparents reading this will feel scandalized at my parenting techniques.

Mary: (drops book) Ups!
Mommy: Oops!
Mary: Uh-oh!
Mommy: Uh-oh!
Mary: Dan it!
Mommy: (freezes, asks carefully) What did you say?
Mary: (confused) Dan it?
Mommy: DARN it. You said darn it.
Mary: (happily) Dan it!

I guess I know what Matt and I are giving up for Lent! I’m amazed we’ve lasted this long dodging the swear word bullet. Ups 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes and a Triumphant Hurrah for the Weekend

— 1 —

My poor husband hasn’t gotten home from work until after 11pm for the last three nights and he hasn’t seen Mary since Tuesday. We’re all just a little ready for this week to be over. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t have to go into work over the weekend. Say it with me: This is only a season in our lives. This is only a season in our lives.

We're hanging in there.

We’re hanging in there. Cat GIFs help.

— 2 —

Tonight I dressed Mary up in her costume and took her out to the local triple-A ballpark for a Halloween event. At first I was bummed Matt couldn’t join us, but it’s ok because it turned out to be not so great of an event for Mary. Why do I keep insisting on going to Halloween-themed events when she doesn’t understand trick or treating and she can’t eat candy? She’s perfectly happy to just play around the apartment in her costume. Silly rookie mom mistake. Mary was content tonight as long as I kept her well-supplied with crackers, but we just did a lap of the stadium, took a picture for posterity and high-tailed it home. Isn’t she a darling duckling, though?

My little duckling. She quacks on command, but it sounds like "Kuh! Kuh!"

My little duckling. She quacks on command, but it sounds like “Kuh! Kuh!”

— 3 —

More photos of my child in her costume? I thought you’d never ask! Happy to oblige.

Smiling at the camera for once.

Smiling at the camera for once.

Flapping her wings.

Flapping her wings. Mary loves how the wings extend past her hands for maximum flappability.

I’m sure there will be more costume shots to come as we make our way through Halloween week. I’m all for getting as much wear out of this cute costume as possible! I sewed it using the super easy-to-follow Simplicity 2070 pattern. I didn’t make the fleece headpiece because I thought Mary would strangle herself trying to get it off and it would be too warm outside for a fleece hat anyway. Shows what I know! It’s been nippy in Louisville the past few nights. I still think Mary enjoys the costume more without having to deal with a headpiece, though.

— 4 —

The other day I was going through some old photos and stumbled on a video of Mary trying to stay sitting up.

It was hard for me to believe that was my child! She’s grown so much. I guess I’ve been operating under the assumption that I will remember all the important things about her in every stage, like how she loves cheese and how she moos with gusto, but I suppose memories of past quirks and characteristics fade as the present takes center stage. All this nostalgia makes me feel a little panicky, like I need to blog and capture every moment for posterity. Of course, I could never do that, and it would take away from the joy of the present moment. Katrina wrote an excellent post on this topic this week, so just go read her much-more-articulate thoughts on the matter :-).

— 5 —

I finally got around to trying the Jen Fulwiler meal planning system, but then Matt wasn’t home for dinner this week and I’m awful about cooking for one. I made a couple recipes for Mary and I, like the chicken nuggets Kathryn of Team Whitaker recommended. Mary politely tried a few bites then opted for cheese, crackers and banana. Sigh. In the future, though, I think I will plan my grocery shopping using Jen’s system and the ever-wonderful Evernote. It’s simple and practical- just my style.

— 6 —

I am starting to put together a Mass bag for Mary so that we have special toys/ items that only come out once a week and we don’t have to haul the whole honking diaper bag into Mass each week. I saw Jenna’s idea for prayer cards on a key ring and immediately added a stop at the local Catholic bookstore to our afternoon agenda. Well. Twenty bucks of prayer cards, a few impatient toddler shrieks in public and a half hour of sitting in traffic later, it turns out that our hole punch is probably in our storage unit in Michigan. Blast!

— 7 —

It’s 12:04am and Matt is STILL not home from work so I am going to have an ill-advised glass of wine. Cheers. Sorry for the somewhat whiny nature of this post and the no doubt convoluted verbiage. Have a good weekend, y’all!

For more Quick Takes, visit Cari at Clan Donaldson, stepping in this week for Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes vol. 5

— 1 —

I redesigned my blog again. I know, shocker. I love the new look (until I get antsy again). If anyone is curious, I used the free WordPress theme Comet and chose the teal color scheme. I adjusted the background color to #7a756a, then made a header for free at Cooltext.com. I used Instant Eyedropper to find out the exact shade of teal the menu bar uses so that my header text would match. Done and done.

 — 2 —

I’m feeling really proud of my garage sale shopping luck today. Check out our haul, all for $18:

Mary is pretty much set for clothes this summer! I just searched Craigslist for garage sales with baby clothes, and presto, two reasonably-priced sales nearby for us to peruse. Score.

— 3 —

Slowly, very slowly, Feedly is filling the Google Reader-sized hole in my heart. Blasphemously, I might even prefer Feedly’s Android app to Google Reader’s because it opens links in-app, making it easier to navigate from blog entry to link back to blog entry. Now if someone could just make it easier to comment on blogs from a smartphone, we’d be set.

— 4 —

You know you’re a bad bridesmaid if …

  • You forget to send in the RSVP card on time and the bride has to email you to find out if you want lamb or sole at dinner. 
  • You don’t attend any showers or bachelorette parties, offering the lame excuse that they’re halfway across the country. You don’t even remember to send a card to let her know you’re thinking of her while she’s partying it up.
  • You forget to respond to the bride’s email asking for your belated RSVP and she emails you again “just to check in.”

Not that I know any of this from personal experience, or anything… all hypothetical… (Sorry Viv!!)

— 5 —

I spotted this curiosity earlier today:confusing leaf

That’s a Nissan Leaf with a “family” of guns pasted on the back, from rifles down to pistols. I find this car simultaneously hilarious and perplexing. The best I can guess is that the car owner believes in freedom from Big Oil and Big Government, but it’s not every day you find a gun-loving environmentalist.

— 6 —

Matt took a personal day from work yesterday and we knocked a bunch of stuff of our to-do list, including dental appointments for both of us (no cavities!), a twelve month checkup for le bebe, and purchasing plane tickets for a trip this summer, among other things. It felt pretty lame to spend one of Matt’s precious days off doing such boring responsible-adult things, so we squeezed in lunch out and a walk at our local nature trail. Mary loved having Matt home with us. She thinks he hung the moon.

— 7 —

Lest you think all is sunshine and roses here, I am currently listening to the dulcet tones of a baby skipping her afternoon nap and our house is nothing short of a wreck. But hey, TGIF. We are hoping to spend some time outdoors this weekend walking at a nearby state park. What about you? Any fantastic weekend plans?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes vol. 4

— 1 —

I’m typing this at the tail end of a long week full of stressful days. Our Christmas tree is still up, as are our outdoor lights, and I’m starting to wonder if the neighbors are going to stage an intervention to persuade us to move our decor choices into the New Year. I have three loads of laundry piled next to me on the couch. Two nights’ worth of dishes sit in the sink. You know what? I don’t care. We’ll get to it all. Self-care first. In the form of posting disorganized thoughts on cyberspace.

 — 2 —

It’s North American International Auto Show season here in Detroit. I attended last year, but I think Mary and I will sit it out this year and try going when she’s a little older. The crowds are pretty intense for a baby. That doesn’t stop me from ogling all the concept cars online, though. I’m especially loving Ford’s new Atlas concept and the new Corvette.

— 3 —

Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah is playing on the TV as I write this. As frustrating as Lance is, and as sad as the whole story of his doping is, what really bothers me about this interview is Oprah’s interviewing style. We are about an hour into the interview and at this point Matt and I are pretty much just making fun of Oprah’s questions. Favorite quote from Oprah so far: “Third law of motion- what you put out is going to come back.” Although maybe that’s only hilarious to nerds like us? Hm.

— 4 —

I’ve subscribed to some awesome blogs this week, in case anyone is looking for more good stuff in their Google Reader inbox:

— 5 —

Mothering has been a hard, hard job since Mary started her new daycare. Sleeping is really tough for her when there’s stimulation about. That means evenings with her = overtired, crashing baby. Occasionally, though, after all the fussing and nursing, adorable things happen:

She’s sleeping on both of our shoulders, snuggled into the crevice between our bodies 🙂

— 6 —

Can we just take a moment to agree that Instagram is the best social media platform ever? I love it so much. No rampant ads like Twitter. No farms or vampires or whathaveyou like Facebook. Just straight-up beautiful slice-of-life moments served with a side of witty captions. Genius. You can follow me @spotofrain. I hope you do- I’d love to follow you too!

— 7 —

Matt and I are working our way through Elementary, the new Sherlock Holmes TV series on CBS. We’re really enjoying it! It’s gripping without being too dark, fast-paced while still devoting time to character development, and faithful to the Doyle’s legacy while still inventive (Watson is female, for example). I recommend it. I’m also watching Downton Abbey on my Wednesdays off with Mary- a guilty pleasure, for sure. What about you? What are your TV favorites right now?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes vol. 3

— 1 —

This week was my first week back at school and field placement, so excuse me please if my takes are a little scatterbrained. I got used to sleeping until Mary wakes up during Christmas break, and the alarm clock is NOT my friend! Thankfully, God made coffee. And husbands who make their wives coffee. Amen.

— 2 —

Mary is also still getting used to the new routine. She is such a social baby that sleeping at daycare is really hard for her. She might miss something! When we all get home at the end of the day, she is so overtired. She does this thing where she laughs and cries at the same time, poor baby. We rock her to sleep and eventually she conks out. In our house, her stubborn way of fighting sleep, yet wanting to be held, is called “snugglegrumps.” I.e. “Mary gave you lots of snugglegrumps tonight, huh?” I think we should write Merriam-Webster.

— 3 —

Santa (in the guise of my parents) brought me The Alchemist for Christmas, and can I just say that reading novels is a joyous thing? I kind of forgot. Grad school has been a long haul, you guys. But this semester I only have one class! Lots of internship hours, but just one class! Let the pleasure reading commence.

— 4 —

Parent pro tip: I keep hearing about those teething giraffe toys… you know the ones. I can’t say for sure, because we don’t own the famed giraffe, but I suspect rubber duckie toys work just as well:

— 5 —

Yesterday one of my coworkers asked me how I was doing. I replied that things were ok- Mary’s adjusting to her new daycare, she’s always teething now but it doesn’t seem to bother her as much, and she’s gone back to sleeping through the night. My coworker pointed out, “I asked you how you were doing. You just told me how your baby is doing.” Oh. Yeah. I guess I did. Note to self: try to remember you’re a separate human being from your child.

— 6 —

While Mary napped in my arms last night, I got to watch Brave with Matt (yep, she’s that tired at the end of the day). I thought it was a cute movie, but not the stuff of Pixar legend like The Incredibles or Toy Story. Still worth watching, though. My favorite character is definitely the king!

— 7 —

You might have noticed my blog got a little facelift. I’ll try to post about how I made the background and such soon- until then, what do you think of the new look?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes vol. 2

— 1 —

What good is a triumphant return to blogging without a triumphant return to memes, I ask you?! In all serious, though, I enjoy the quick takes format, I love reading other blogs’ takes, and time-dependent structure encourages me to post regularly.

 

— 2 —

Notice how I didn’t use the word “deadline” in the last paragraph? I got that idea from Asha Dornfest over at Babble Voices, who recommends thinking of goals “as forms of self-care rather than as problems I need to fix because I’ve messed up.” I’m my own worst critic, so I like that idea a lot. I’m trying to think of my goal of blogging more as something I am taking time to do for me so that I can record memories and connect with others. If I post regularly, that’s great. If I don’t, that’s ok too, as long as I’m doing other things for self care instead.

— 3 —

Why is self care so important in my life right now? Well, we’ve found ourselves hunting for childcare again. It’s super nerve-wracking trying to find a place we trust to take care of our little girl. We’ve got good options, but it’s tough to feel comfortable leaving my kid with strangers, especially since our last childcare experience didn’t turn out so well. Ick ick ick. Why hasn’t some gadget company invented mobile baby video cameras so I can check in on my little girl at any time while she’s in day care? I should ask Matt to get on inventing that soon. 

— 4 —

Speaking of our cute little munchkin, she started clapping yesterday. She enjoys clapping her hands together a few times, then looking up at me to see if I’ll do it too. It’s adorable.

— 5 —

One of my favorite Christmas presents is a little book to record such little baby milestones. I have a baby book, but I never filled it out. (Feel the mommy guilt… recognize it for what it is… remind self Mary will not be scarred by the lack of a baby book… breathe out.) Anyway, this little book will let me quickly capture daily moments. I fill it out right before bed. I’m really loving it so far!

— 6 —

Mary turns eight months tomorrow. Eight months! As in two thirds of a year! Not sure where the time has gone.

— 7 —

My life is pretty baby-centric right now. At a New Year’s Eve gathering with friends, I was finally introduced to Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe. Yikes, if those music videos are representative of the kind of cultural happenings I have been missing out on this year, I’m a little concerned! Tell me, friends- what quality books, movies and music have been released while I’ve been living under a baby-shaped rock? Restore my faith in modern culture, please?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

I have been reading other people’s 7 Quick Takes for literally years and when I started this blog I resolved to participate in such efforts in the name of Building Community. Then I started this post and realized I really have no idea what a “take” is or how one goes about writing SEVEN of them. So bear with me.

— 2 —

The Womb Occupant has fully embraced this delightful game in which she starts kicking like mad as soon as Mommy lays down to go to sleep. Usually her kicks are mostly cute little nudges from inside my belly, but these kicks are like WHOA LET ME OUT and therefore they HURT. Besides annoying Mommy (and Daddy, because of course Mommy cannot suffer in silence), these kicks worry me just a little. What’s going through that little developing mind? Does she have less space when I lay down? Is it the shift in gravity’s pull? The brand-new mommy in me wants to know if she’s ok- is she having little seizures or something?! Usually at this point in my thought process I start rubbing my belly and sending her soothing thoughts. She calms down eventually, I lay awake worrying a while longer, and then I fall asleep and dream Terrible Dreams in which Every Awful Thing Ever happens to my kid. WOO, parenthood! All the experienced moms in the audience are like, Welcome to the rest of your life, sucka! Le sigh.

— 3 —

On a more joyous note, I am now officially on Spring Break!!! And there was great rejoicing. Of course, my “break” will consist of building up a buffer of extra hours at my internship in case Tidbit comes early, along with a substantial dose of school work, but it’s a whole week without class and I’m grateful.

— 4 —

I’m also grateful that I have the opportunity to attend one of the best social work programs in the country. I just lose sight of that sometimes amid the go-go-go of grad school. (See what I did there? I just stretched one Take into two. Aw yeah!)

— 5 —

The last two weeks have been full to overflowing with paper and group project deadlines. It will make me feel more exhausted if I write it all out, so you’ll have to take my word for it- it was a lot. And the semester doesn’t really slow down from here until it ends in April. That’s disheartening. To counter my WOE IS ME-ness, I am making myself take tonight and tomorrow off. Completely. No school work, no planning for school work, no answering emails about school work. It all needs to get done, but it can all wait for just a little bit. The jury is still out on how Matt and I will spend this extravagant expanse of free time, but I’ll be sure to let you know if we do anything Fantastic or Exciting. My guess is a healthy portion of the day will be spent sleeping in, which is both Fantastic AND Exciting to me 🙂

— 6 —

In a recent feat of computer networking wizardry, Matt re-did our home network so that our router actually recognizes my computer on a regular basis and we can both print wirelessly from our laptops. In the process, he had to name the router and printer, so he called them Bob and Larry. A week later, I am still smiling whenever I think about it. Ladies: look for a man who loves Veggie Tales. It’s important in a marriage. (Just kidding.) (Kind of.)

— 7 —

I’m running on fumes here (I can hear Matt’s voice in my head now- “You posted about our computer network? You’re such a goof!”) so I will end with a link to my favorite this-must-be-from-the-Onion-oh-wait-it’s-real! news story of the week: Dear CERN: Always Check the Cable Before Doubting Einstein. Please join me in chuckling at the silly physicists, and then by all means, sally forth and enjoy your weekend! 😀

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!