The Chronicles of Mommyhood

Monday, May 22, 2006

New Stats...Almost Half My Height

29.5 inches

  • 21 lbs
Dash has lost some weight in the last few weeks due to CONSTANT crawling, walking and splashing. But we are relatively certain that he will be taller than mommy by the time he's six.

Summer Treat

One of the favorite deserts in Mr. Incredible's house is fresh strawberries with whipped cream. So Mr. Incredible whipped up some fresh cream yesterday and let Dash have a taste. Here is what ensued:

Splashy Baby!

In honor of the Texas heat this weekend, we christened the baby pool in our back yard. The whale with sunshade was a big hit with Dash. He is *quite* the little splasher!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mother's Day Gift Part 2

I received a "pajama-gram" from Dash's grandparents that declared me SUPERMOM. Dash has a little smirk on his face that seems to indicate that he'll let me think that as long as it suits his purposes! Grandmom and Granddad are are here visiting (which includes cleaning, ironing, doing laundry, etc.), which I am very thankful for after being out of town.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother's Day gift

Mr. Incredible took the not-very-subtle hint and gave me the sweetest Mother's Day gift...a graceful and tender statue of Mary and baby Jesus. I am thrilled to have such a beautiful statue in our home!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Whirl Wind

When friends scatter all over the country, nothing is better and more exciting than a wedding to bring everyone together again! I would love to be surrounded by these amazing women day in and day out, but know that our prayers and love bind us together. It was my first wedding with a baby experience...I remember getting together for breakfast after weddings at 10am. Now we can say "see you at 6:30am!" It was fun to see Dash interacting with the other little ones and fascinating to see friends' babies who are a bit older and walking, climbing, even talking! It makes me excited and all the more determined to enjoy him each and every day at the stage he is at!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Best Wishes....

...our sweet Mrs. Pink Parasol!

Working Hard

Dash has been hard at work with his new toy...a laptop destroyed by a flood from a ceiling in a coffee shop (that their insurance thankfully covered). Apparently the screen doubles as a chair and you are supposed to type upside down. Since it is completely nonfunctional, we don't know what he is writing so industriously!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Not Just Semantics

On the subject of cleaning...I am compelled to note that there is a very real difference between clean and neat. Our house is neat at the end of each day, yet, when Saturday rolls around, I feel the very real need to clean. Mr. Incredible, however, looks around and sees toys put away and dishes in the dishwasher, which, in male vocabulary, means clean. I see the dust collecting in a fine layer on top of the mantle, sink faucets that are waterspotted, tiny bits of goldfish that are ground into the carpet. You would think Mr. Incredible would have some kind of "super-vision" that would allow his to see such a state of uncleanliness. Nope. He sees a missed opportunity to play golf. He is challenging me in the backgroud, "Can anything really be clean?" Well, the stuff I use says it kills 99.9% of bacteria, and is safe enough to use on a highchair tray. And that's clean enough for me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Vacuuming Fun!

I am not a FlyLady kind of girl. I would much rather spend 6 hours in a row cleaning everything once a week and sit down exhausted than spend 45 minutes cleaning every day. Saturday mornings tend to be that time, and lately Mr. Incredible has taken Dash to the playground for a bit to help ensure he is not sprayed with Windex or 409.

But Dash is fascinated by the vacuum cleaner. Wherever I am vacuuming, Dash comes plodding along to watch and sits in a trance as the loud machine with the headlights cleans up everything in its path. This weekend, he generously decided to help vacuum our hearth room. Thanks, Dash!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What It Is

My hope is that this blog will be about raising, forming and educating children, our lives and milestones and joy and struggles. I have learned so much from Catholic homeschooling mothers who take the time to share their lives via blog, and it is great consolation to me that I will never need to reinvent the wheel! I try to spend some of my free time reading about Charlotte Mason, Maria Montessori, and some of the mothers who have written on the application of their principles to home education (though an 8-month old doesn't get super-excited about living history books unless he can eat them). But even at this age I am hoping to lay some groundwork for a well-ordered life for our whole family. Not in any attempt to be the "perfect" mom, for this, I know, would be a futile effort, but hoping to set Dash, as well as myself (and future children), on a path towards sanctification, and love of learning and playing and wonder at God's creation.

As for Dash's this point it consists of:
  • Mommy saying his morning offering:
    The sun is up and I am, too.
    I say Good Morning God to you!
    Lord Jesus Christ, be with me today,
    And help me in all I think and do and say.
    while Dash tries to grab a crucifix of Our Lord.
  • Attending Mass, which, as mentioned before, can involve a good deal of noise and wrestling.
  • In the afternoon I read the Bible aloud, and he generously shares his thoughts in bubbles.
  • Later, he tries to eat the rosary.
  • Loving him and playing together.
  • Taking walks and seeing God's creation.
  • Finally, he drifts off as mommy says his nighttime prayers for our family, the poor, sick and needy, unborn babies, priests and bishops, and the holy souls in purgatory and asks the saints and our baby in heaven to pray for us.

    I am heartened by this, because I know that as he grows, he will be familiar with:
  • Greeting Jesus in the morning and offering up his day
  • Going to mass and praying before the Blessed Sarcrament
  • With taking time to listen and, later, to read scripture
  • Our Blessed Mother and the way rosary beads feel (and taste)
  • Knowing he is loved by his family and by God
  • Seeing the beauty and wonder of God's creation
  • Saying prayers before bed (with an examination of conscience to be added later)
  • With asking the saints to pray for us

We will have (and have had) "off" days, and not all of this may be accomplished every single day, but these daily habits help to provide a rhythm to our day, which keeps us turning towards Our Lord and his mother.

Order Matters!

Dash loves to feed himself and is rapidly improving his pincer grasp. Meal time is messy, but the most fun time of the day! We usually spoon-feed him something out of a bowl, then give him finger foods to pick up. Most of the time he manages at least once to get his hand into the bowl of mashed banana or chicken with sweet potato. Rather than eat it, he rubs it in his hair/nose/eyes/ears. After some trial and error, I have found that the only way to clean him up after meal time is in the following order.

1. Wipe off tray.

2. Wipe off hands.

3. Wipe off face.

If I wipe off face first, food goes right back on it via hands. If I wipe off hands first, they go right back onto food covered tray, then onto face.

Friday, May 05, 2006

In The Kitchen With Baby

I have had several recent questions about baby food, so I thought I would address the topic here. I wanted to make Dash's food because I love to cook for my family. (I grew up in the kitchen with a mom who is an outstanding chef and see it as a way to lovingly serve my family.) I realize that if we are blessed with many children, this may not always be feasible. In no way think that jarred baby food is intrinsically worse by any is essential when travelling for sure! I just enjoy being able to cook for Dash. Mr. Incredible says that Dash eats better than he does. (If he's not careful, that may just become the truth!) I will deal with how I make Dash's food in a later post, but for now, I'll just talk about the resources I've used.

First, let me say that the little sheet they hand you at the pediatrician's office is woefully inadequate for a first time mom who doesn't know what she's doing, especially if you are making your own food. So I turned to several books about the subject. Just as with sleeping styles, diapering options and everything else related to baby, there are many different opinions on what to feed baby first from processed rice cereal to organic avocado.

The book I have found the most helpful on how to make baby food is Super Baby Food, though it is controversial. Author Ruth Yaron is not a doctor or nutritionist, but a mom. She recommends feeding nut butters and ground nuts as early as 10 months, (which doctors would warn you against doing such until 2-3 years) and other foods that have high-allergen risks. But she does give extremely detailed information on how to cook, store, and freeze fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, etc. (though not is quite obvious that she is a vegetarian). Therefore, reading it in conjunction with other books written by doctors, you can take their info on what to feed baby when and her info on how to cook/store it. I have chosen to use mainly organic foods and whole grain cereals. I ground organic brown rice and barley and cooked my own cereal for awhile, but have given that up and use Earth's Best multi-grain cereal...much easier than making cereal every few days. Most baby food freezes for at least two months, so, if I plan well, I only need to make large batches every 6 weeks. I enjoy cooking and I know that Dash is eating wholesome, healthy foods. He LOVES eating his food, which makes it all worth it!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Because It's Spring

Dash is enjoying his afternoons on the swing! If there is a young girl on the playgroud, she usually plops herself in the swing next to him and chats happily to the "pretty baby" (this has happened twice in three days--I'm not quite ready for Dash to be wooing little ladies!). We take our stroller down the block and I sit right in front of him, pop open a diet soda (one of my indulgences!), and gently push him. He smiles on the way back and then giggles when he gets to the point closest to Mommy. We'll try to spend lots of time outside now, before the Texas heat gets too intense.

Also, my very favorite flower, the cala lilly, has begun to bloom in our front yard! Spring has Sprung and He is Risen!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

He's Come So Far, But...

Me: "Do you like your new shirt?"
Mr. Incredible: "Yes, I'll wear it tomorrow."
Me: "Do you want me to wash it first?"
Mr. Incredible: "You mean to get the stuffing out?"
Me: (peals of laughter)
Mr. Incredible: "!"

Young Kids at Mass

Danielle Bean posted this homily on bringing young children to mass on her blog today. I mentioned this very subject only a few days ago as I am only beginning to wrestle with a crawling, climbing and teething Dash. I'm glad that priests are talking about this and encouraging parents with young ones.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

As Requested by Momo - Dash and His Walker

Dash loves his musical walker. Before he could pull himself up on it and toddle around, he could play with the spinny-things on the front. It was recommended to me by a friend whose little guy just took his first steps last week! It only costs about $20 and is a great addition to our repertoire.

Apparently, it is even entertaining upside down.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May, Mary's Month

As spring is everywhere around us, we dedicate this month to Mary. This is our special place for Mary this month. Our icon is of Our Lady of Czestochowa. (We do not have a statue of Mary large enough for a May crowning--*hint* to husband for gift.) St. Luke is said to have painted the original on the table where Mary ate her meals. Many miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Czestochowa, including the saving of Poland from Russian invaders in 1920.

Pope Benedict said today, "In the encyclical Deus caritas est I wrote that Mary is a woman who loves. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, Mary is the fruit and the sign of the love God has for us, of his tenderness and of his mercy."

Help of the half-defeated, House of gold,
Shrine of the Sword, and Tower of Ivory;
Splendour apart, supreme and aureoled
The Battler's vision and the World's reply.
You shall restore me, O my last Ally,
To vengence and the glories of the bold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.
~Hillare Belloc
Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Look, No Hands!