We are Catholic moms who follow the basic tenets of Attachment Parenting. We are different personalities; we're not clones, so you should see some varying opinions on different subjects. Join us as we continue on this exciting ride known as Catholic Mothering!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Summer as a Child...

As my children watch the umpteenth hour of television today, I have been thinking about what summers were like for me as a child. I can't remember a lot of detail when I was my childrens' age, six years-old and younger, but I do remember a bit. I know that we didn't watch television during the day, except maybe Sesame Street in the mornings on occasion, because in the late 60's and early 70's there wasn't 24-hour children's cable programming like there is now. My mother didn't play with us, she kept house, set out things for us to do, and took us to the library every couple of weeks. We played in the sprinklers, the wading pool and on the swingset. We lay bored and hot for hours on the back lawn. We probably played with neighborhood friends, and with the dog. I don't remember VBS, but I'm sure our church had it, and so we probably went. For our vacations, we would visit my grandmother and aunt in the extremely hot San Joaquin Valley, and we'd drive there in our Plymouth Valiant or Volkwagen Bug, both un-airconditioned. All this would sound utterly boring to my children, yet I remember counting the days until summer began, and mourning its end.

My children have the wading pool, the sprinklers, the swingset, yet they are only outside an hour or so a day. I have been much more lax with t.v. rules, since I've been dealing with first-trimester nausea and exhaustion, but I see the bad habits becoming entrenched. My son asks constantly if he can play computer games, and he's only 4! We do go to the library weekly, and will start swimming lessons in July, but I need to figure out a way to encourage my children to use their imaginations when they are bored, and to find things to do that don't require me to hover over them. I know the place to start is unplugging the television from the hours of 9-5, along with the computer.

I would welcome suggestions and ideas for making the summer bearable for a tired, pregnant mom, and three children, ages 20 months, 4 and 6 years old.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What a sad story...

I have recently finished reading the book "White House Nannies" by Barbara Kline. I'd read about the book somewhere online in a blog, and found it in our local library system by checking the online catalog.

It was a pretty quick read, maybe one night's worth of reading. I routinely plow through books pretty quickly, and this was very easy to read.

However, it was also very difficult to read. The world she writes of is not unknown to me; I used to live in DC back in the 80's. As a young single woman, my cares were not about childcare or nannies or balancing work and family. However, I became close friends with a family through my parish with little children and took on the role of "big sister" and babysitter. I even went on a vacation with them with the understanding I could help with the kids, and they'd go out to dinner a couple of times alone.

May I just say that this is a very depressing experience of parenthood? I submit to you, that for all the influences and wealth (it ain't cheap to hire a nanny) and opportunities these children will have because of their family background, they suffer from a lack of influence by their parents. Sadly, they will probably never realize what they should have had, nor will the parents completely realize what they've lost.

These parents have traded the natural parent/child bond for their careers. I personally believe their priorities are very mixed up, and I feel very sorry for these children whose lives are managed by a succession of one nanny after another, instead of by their parents. The dysfunction present in some of these families is almost unbelievable, and yet you know it is true. We see the fruit of all this around us, in the children influenced by this upbringing, in the parents who see children as just another accessory in a "glamourous" life.

It makes me very grateful for my own upbringing, and convinces me that the choices I have made will have long reaching consequences for my own children. And it also makes me incredibly grateful that I didn't buy into the lifestyle I witnessed myself 20 years ago in DC.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Prayer Request...

Jamie at Selkie blog could use your prayers...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The House Sold!

Anyone who's read on CAPP moms for a while saw this post a bit ago when we first started seriously exploring the possibility of selling our house and moving...

Well, today we accepted an offer (a nice one!) on our house, and we'll move in mid July! It took one week and one day of being listed, 9 showings, and 2 offers ;)


And now I have to finish packing up the house (we emptied a lot of our stuff into either a storage unit or the trash can) and find our new home!

Won't you please keep us in your prayers?!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Ribbons for Milestones

We have a backdoor that needs to be opened with a key, which we keep hanging on a hook by the door. The key has a green ribbon on it. It is all shredded and wearing to a thread, because it has been on that key for five years now. Before that, there was a baby-blue ribbon on it. Next week it will be replaced, probably by a dark blue ribbon.

What is with these ribbons? Well, when Declan, our older boy, was born, my husband discovered in himself a hitherto unsuspected cave man instinct. He felt he needed to protect the dwelling from any dangers, so he replaced the back door lock with a new, better one. Hence the need to hang up a key by the door. My husband's parents were visiting their first grandchild and my mother-in-law brought some Goody Supremes (I think they're called--chocolate, caramel and pecans, mmmm) and decorated them for the christening with light-blue ribbon. A charming and delicious idea. Hunting around for something to hang the key with I grabbed one of the ribbons and used that. It hung there for almost five years, getting thinner and shreddier...

When Declan was five we decided to keep him in his small, nurturing private preschool for "kindergarten" three days a week. At the end of the year I was delighted to find a lovely certificate, with sweet vignettes of little children doing kindergarten-type things, in the bottom of his backpack. This was his "Kindergarten Diploma". I called the director and thanked her for such a simple, fuss-free way to mark the transition. One of the things I love about this school is that they have stoutly resisted the trend towards escalation in all things at the preschool level. The children play with blocks and dolls instead of computers and have story books, not work books. We felt this was a perfect thing for Declan because he could never have tolerated the kind of "pomp and circumstance" that a kindergarten "graduation" would have entailed, thus avoiding a tearful, stressful day. The green ribbon which encircled this "diploma" replaced the baby ribbon on our key as our boy advanced from baby days to the world of school.

Now he is almost eleven, and finishing fifth grade. Around here that means it is time to move on to "intermediate school" with all the thrills and apprehensions belonging to that level. We are happy that he will be moving on to an excellent pilot program which seems perfectly geared to meet his needs. Yet it is bittersweet for us too, because when he left Kindergarten we had no idea what a rough journey we were in for. We have all grown in ways we could never have dreamed of. Many dreams have been left behind; others have changed, but we are looking towards the future with hope and confidence.

So next Tuesday I will pick Declan up from school at noon. We will proceed to his favorite pizza restaurant where we will join his grandparents and two favorite aunts for a celebratory lunch. Declan will receive a special gift tied with a dark blue ribbon, which I will tuck into my bag and take home to tie onto the back door key. We will watch this ribbon, too, grow thinner and shreddier as our son thrives and grows older, more mature and ready to move into the wider world.

Who knew all these thoughts and feelings could be evoked by a piece of thin, shreddy ribbon?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Books for the Graduate

My niece has just graduated from high school and is headed to college. She is my godchild and I would like to make a bag of books for her. We were very close when she was little, and shared an interest in cats and reading. Then my son was born, she got older and more involved in school and sports, and we did not spend as much time together as I would have liked.

I want to give her some books for fun and some for meaningful reading. I know it is hopelessly old-fashioned to give graduates dictionaries or thesauruses these days. So I would welcome any of your suggestions for appropriate books.

This is what I have thought of, so far:

Kristin Lavransdatter, in the new translation: a good book for older teen girls, I think. Many of the situations are timeless (good girl attracted to bad boy, and the consequences)

Lucky Jim, so that she will take the often absurd antics of academics with a grain of humor

Buddenbrooks, just because I love it and it is a classic

For beach reading: Maeve Binchy's Firefly Summer, my favorite of her novels

Books for a bad day: Excellent Women. by Barbara Pym; some P.G.Wodehouse short stories;Lake Woebegone Days

and because I want to sneak a bit of "Catholic stuff" in there, some Father Brown mysteries.

This is all I can come up with after a stressful day. I would LOVE to hear what your suggestions are! Thanks.

so sick...

and let me tell you, it is no picnic. I'm thinking it might be strep or mono or some other Gawdawful throat thing, which has spread to my eyes and my neck. I fell asleep last night without even telling anyone goodnight, I just disappeared into bed, much to my very-attached 3 year old's great sorrow. He was happy to be tucked in next to me, where he happily fell asleep without waking me.

But here's the dilemma, I have no physician. I am not established anywhere. I have the kids' pediatrician, the hubby has his own doc, but I haven't seen any sort of doc but an OB since before I started having kids *mumble mumble* years ago.

So tomorrow I'll start calling to see where I can get in quickly, and maybe get something to bring relief.

The lesson? For all my preaching to friends, and my nagging of DH until he called for his physical (what if you get sick? you'll have no one to call to see you without a 3 day wait unless you go to a freestanding clinic with a moonlighting doc), I didn't follow my own advice. So, learn from my suffering, get thee established with a regular health care provider that you can call when you are sick!


UPDATE: It's strep all right. Have a Z pack, a shot of steroids for the inflammation, and Advil for the aches and pains. Thank God for afterhours clinics and 24 hour pharmacies!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

What's for Sunday Dinner?

Why, this delicious recipe for Apricot Ginger Chicken from the Summa Mamas. I made it tonight for dinner and, wow, was it good! Fire up your grill and make it for the family...they'll love it!

Apricot-Ginger Chicken

2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
6 large chicken leg quarters (about 3 3/4 pounds)

Prepare grill. In small bowl, combine green onions, apricot preserves, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger.

Arrange chicken on grill over medium heat; grill until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Arrange chicken around perimeter of grill (where it is cooler); cover and grill until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with knife, 25 to 30 minutes longer. During last 10 minutes, brush with apricot mixture. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

New Babies in St. Blog's Parish!!!!!

oh, how SWEET they are!! Congratulations!!! and welcome to the world, little ones!