Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Babies and humility

I had initially written a post entitled "10 things I'm learning about baby sleep" and scheduled it to post tomorow. However, I had a really nice lady with eight kids come visit today and the whole day I kept thinking to myself, I need to delete that post! It was smug. And I really shouldn't be giving advice to anyone. Especially unsolicited advice. Especially about babies' sleep.

This lady has eight kids and her mom had nine. She gave me a piece of advice passed on by her mom. It shook me up and I got all depressed because I felt like I was doing it all wrong. But then throughout the day I tried it and felt some hope that it would work.

What a treasure of information there is in large families. What a pity there are millions of couples out there without children "but they have a dog" as my neighbor says. And a pity the majority of people are parenting one kid and are overwhelmed by that and don't give or get advice from anyone because everyone else is parenting one kid or none. Books are not the same as real life relationships. Neither are blogs.

Anyway, maybe in a few months when my baby is sleeping better I will feel all smug again and write about how to get your baby to sleep. But until then I'm feeling pretty humbled, pretty vulnerable and like I'm hanging on by a string. And pretty thankful for all the help and real-life advice God sends my way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The best things in life are free

The best things in life are free. And the second best things are cheaper. We went on a mini-vacation this weekend and I was even more convinced of these truths. Our two-month old baby seems to hate cars and carseats with a capital "H" so we decided to take the train down to the south of Portugal, the Algarve. It was so much better than taking the car, even if we didn't have a baby... or two, which is the case (she doesn't like cars either). And it was cheaper! So there you go.
We stayed at a chain of hotels called Inatel and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner there. I cannot express my love of buffets enough. I've heard Las Vegas is the place for me (I guess there are millions of cheap, delicious buffets...). At Inatel there are simple buffets, but I love being able to pick what I'm going to eat and how much of it. And our toddler loves choice too, obviously.
Our days were really simple: beach in the morning (well, baby in the baby carrier for me), a nap after lunch, pool, mass, dinner, bed. The nap was for Addie... she slept in her stroller with her pacifier and was asleep after two minutes of walking. We weren't expecting it to be so easy. See picture of her feet sticking out above. She turns herself over on her tummy in her sleep... it's kind of weird. And I am completely head over heels in love with my Graco Roomfor2 fully-reclinable stroller. No, this isn't a sponsored post. I just wish I could buy this stroller for everyone who has two closely-spaced kids. And an ergo baby carrier for everyone who has a baby.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A world of assembly meals

I have been obsessed with baking things and assembling them into meals. It all started when my mom told me instead if frying her veggie burgers, she puts them in the oven. It is sooooooooooo much easier and they turn out soooooooo much better.

You can just mash up black beans with a fork, add some egg(s) and breadcrumbs, but here's a recipe if you want one. The secret is adding wet ingredients (egg) or dry ones (breadcrumbs, oat flour) until you are able to get a good consistency for patties.

Anyway, I have since been inspired to make falafel... never thought of it! I used this recipe and just wrapped them in tortillas and tomatoes, but next time I will try finding pita bread.

And vegetarian meatballs! Also in the oven. My friend told me she saw some on Nigella Lawson's show and I'm not sure if these are the ones, but it's a great and adaptable recipe here. See before and after of falafel above and "meatballs" below.
PS The tomato sauce I make for everything consists of a jar of crushed tomatoes, a couple tablespoons of water, a dash of red wine, some honey, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and parsley.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Slightly OCD schedule

My book on toddlers suggests making a visual schedule for your toddler so they can start knowing what will happen next in their day and that will help them feel more control. I thought this was a great idea. Some parents say "he's so good at daycare and so badly-behaved at home" and the book suggests daycare and school have repetitive schedules they can count on and thrive on.

So far our visual schedule is.. not working. We still have some really good days and some really terrible days. I can't figure out what makes her calm, what makes him sleep and I barely get anything done. What really helps ME though is talking to my spiritual director (really, really amazing shot of grace) and... blogging! So thank you for reading my thoughts. I write in my diary, but it's just not as... creative. Another one of my pins:  

Flannery O'Connor:

Friday, September 09, 2016

Lord, give me patience

These days have been especially hard. I am working on being more patient with my toddler and asking Jesus to help me love her like He does. I'm not doing a very good job. This baby business is really hard, even a second time around! The main problem is... their sleep!

I am a wimp when it comes to my spiritual life. I just finished St. Faustina's Diary and it is incredible how much she is willing to suffer for God and sacrífice herself. I have countless blessings, health, so much material comfort (St. Faustina didn't have any of that... precisely the opposite) and I whine soooooooo much when life gets a teensy bit harder? It's true.

From my Pinterest:
St. Pope John Paul II. I love this quote from St. John Paul II: