"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Park Videos

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shameless Alumna?

Football season is upon us. And since I married the one man in country with absolutely no interest in (or knowledge of) football, I've had to inflict any of my remaining interest on my girls. In fact, since I started doctoral work, I've seen only a handful of football games (which is probably for the best, given the spotty performances...and the need for me to get my academic work done on Saturdays). But when the air gets that crisp fall feeling, and I'm out walking on a quiet Saturday morning... it's hard not to think of football. Last Saturday, on the way home from morning Mass as a family, I beat Jeff to his customary line: "Well, it's Saturday: should we sing a hymn in honor of our Lady?" After I asked the question, I burst into a rousing rendition of the Notre Dame fight song, in which I was joined by Maia. Jeff either grimaced or smiled; I'm not sure which it was. I felt a little guilty afterwards about replacing the Salve Regina with the Fight Song (which is not properly a Marian hymn) and so I proceeded to sing the Alma Mater as well (which is much more ambiguous and could possibly suffice).

Notre Dame may have become a corrupt institution (I don't know, I'm not making any accusations, I'm just saying it's possible). And the football team may be contributing to a sort of moral bankruptcy (I don't know, I'm not making any accusations, I'm just saying it's possible). But doesn't Maia do a great job of singing the Fight Song? The above is not her usual version; I think she just got excited in front of the camera and wanted to be a little bit more creative.

Big Girl!

I was afraid to post anything on this prematurely, but it now appears that Eva is finally potty-trained! As I mentioned in another post, she started potty-training herself at about 17 months. Some people might think that's great, but it seemed to us she wasn't really ready for it, not to mention we had a lot of traveling (like to Italy) where we just couldn't be focused on getting her to a toilet in time.

Well, once we were back for good and settled into a schedule, she became more consistent. Then when Nana and Grandpa showed up with new undies for her, she decided to make the switch permanent. She sometimes gets her undies a little bit wet, but for the last week she's been in undies (except at night).
The sleeping isn't going so well, as she wakes up needing to go to the bathroom and then doesn't fall back asleep or makes Dad take her repeatedly to the bathroom without actually going. We've been limiting liquids in the evening, but we're still having some rough nights.

Eva's still nursing, although infrequently, and I am a little worried about her adjustment to being a big sister. If the beginning of the summer was marked by Maia and Eva playing joyfully together, the end of the summer has been marked by Maia and Eva fighting endlessly. Eva in particular finally picked up on all the mean things Maia would do to her. In the shopping cart at Costco today, Eva was pulling Maia's hair and hitting her (for no reason, I might add). Then a couple of days ago she was jumping on the mini-trampoline in the basement (while I was on the treadmill) and shouting "Stupid Maia! Stupid Maia! Stupid Maia!" Maia told me it hurt her feelings, but when I asked her where Eva might have learned to call people stupid, she knew it was from her. But Maia still insisted (probably rightly) that I ask Eva to stop.

Eva seems to be eager to expand this treatment of her big sister to her little brother. A few nights ago, when I was doing some bedtime reading, she playfully bit my belly and yelled, "I bite baby Patrick!!!" So he's not even born, and she's already biting him.

Well, that might not keep up. Just a few days ago, Maia decided (obviously without our permission) to "let Eva know how it feels," and she bit Eva's forearm, where there is still a bruise. That put an abrupt end to Eva's time-out and put Maia in the time-out chair instead. (Thank goodness Maia is now back at pre-school. I think they'll be getting along better now.) And, actually, I don't think Eva has bitten Maia since.
But I've been thinking how it's really a funny thing with child spacing... I probably would have liked my first two a bit closer together, but with the doctoral studies (and accompanying financial hardship) it would not have been prudent. My mom (who was the fourth of four born in four years' time), has always talked about each kid getting their own "babyhood." Maia definitely got that. But, actually, so did Eva. She's not a baby anymore. She's potty-trained, she's extremely verbal, she's very social, very active, very coordinated, and so on. It's hard to know what your older kid will be like nine months from when you conceive. One thing that's clear is that they'll be nine months farther from babyhood, and that's a good thing to remember.
Really, doesn't Eva look old in these pictures?

Uninvited Guests

Jeff and I were pleased that we were able to do a fair amount of hosting people this summer. In addition to the neighbor kids (who often eat with us during the summer... and sometimes show up right at dinner time...), we had old friends, new friends, Jeff's colleagues, Jeff's parents, Notre Dame Summer Service volunteers, our new pastor - you name it - we hosted them. And I think without exception, we enjoyed every meal, despite the enormous investment of time in cleaning and cooking, etc.

The only guests we didn't enjoy were those pesky lice. And I'm sorry to say that we shared the lice with at least one round of our guests. They were good sports about it, and have been making jokes ever since. Anyway, after two separate instances of fighting off the lice, they seem to have been banished... for now. As to where we got them, our best guess is Ikea, where we spent a rainy day trying out the kids' toys and Maia playing in the ball pit.

From this side of the episode, it doesn't seem like such a big deal. I'm just glad it's over. But I prefer invited guests.