Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I should not be blogging. How I feel right now, while blogging, is the equivalent of drunk dialing. A full day with my half toddler/half monster has me questioning everything. (Yes, I know it is 5:14 and yes, I know I promised to stop analyzing during these hours. I lied.) To give you an accurate depiction of the day, Ross asked if we needed to eat dinner out. His ace card. I said no. He then asked something about guns. No guns here people but when I say no to dinner out, it's a natural next question.  I have no desire whatsoever to sit in a restaurant with toddlermonster. Can y'all tell what kind of day you will have within the first five minutes after your child wakes up? I am pretty accurate with this and today was no exception. It's just been one of those days. One of those days when I think people with multiple children are bat crazy, one of those days when I wonder what the sam heck God was thinking when he asked me to parent this kid. Surely he could have gotten someone more qualified?  I haven't yet broken into the tears waiting to flow, knowing full well that this will pass and I will be regaling you all with precious baby girl stories in no time. Please do not think I am whining but Lawd, it's just hard, y'all. 18 months is so fun, more fun each day. But it also brings a toddler who can't communicate well but knows exactly what she wants (and when). She doesn't understand discipline yet but redirecting 204,000 times a day is making me batty. I won't even put in the disclaimer about the bajillion moms whose days are harder, children more challenging. I am confident that you get where I am today. Just one of those hard mommy days where I think 5 more minutes of whining/crying might make me pull my hair out strand by strand.  Ross will come home (poor guy), he'll take the babe and the dog for a walk. I'll put on some Jesus music and cook dinner. And I know that by the time they walk in the door, I'll already be missing that "hiiiiii" coming from the mouth of toddlermonster.

picture serving simply to remind me of how sweet she was is. And I thought that stage was hard?!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


All us Ninnesses are undergoing some painful detox this week. Ross and I, back from a beautiful vacation (separate post soon) are back in our jobs. Mary Kate is back to caregivers who actually do things in addition to playing with her every millisecond. I am back to meals involving translations of "uh uh uh and eh eh eh and nononono." We would not have it any other way, well, except for meals without grunting, but the week prior and just after a vacation make you wonder if it was worth it. It was. But whew.

We got a nice day off yesterday to settle back in, with the pure blessing of my friend Natalie's little boy with us. Thomson played and played with "Mary Cake," giving me some time to catch up on mail, laundry, etc. It really is true that sometimes two is easier than one. That reminds me of this amazing article I read. It's making its way around facebook but is written by one of my favorite authors. To the mother of only one child- go read and feel great about yourself!

Today was definitely the letdown day. I took Mary Kate to a music class at a local church and I struggled. I won't get into the details, but this is a MEGA church with MEGA money and MEGA ammenities. It looked like the Ritz. I left kind of in a funk both berating myself for judging what appears to be a lively ministry but also convicted about excess. All wrapped up in my head and unsure of why I was now in a total funk, I got lost and ended up in North Roswell. Betsy's blog had me craving a lunch out and I called husband. He detected the voice and his reply of yes could be translated as "no matter how much this lunch costs, it will be less painful than crazy wife later." (Did I just mention excess??) Anyway- my little detour did end in lunch but not until poor MK fell asleep in the car. No amount of go-go gadget arms tickling her face, sticking my finger in her nose could wake her up. And that 10 minute catnap at 11:00 has destroyed her 1:00 nap (as it is now 1:47 and poor girl is still crying).  That may the final straw in the "should I turn her carseat around" debate.

So we're back home and I am supposed to be making work calls all afternoon and can't muster the umph to do anything. These first few days back from vacation truly do feel like detox but I know we'll be up and running again soon.

My apologies for the rambling and some cell phone sweetness to, as my dad would say, get my butt off my shoulders!

love her hand on his back. they played like this for hours!

maybe making sure dad didn't drop the food on his shirt??

Friday, January 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

I have over-heard a few things this week that I need to remember. The first was from Rachel, reminding us not to "compare our interior to someone else's exterior." Whoa dude. Because essentially, that's always what we are doing, comparing our lives, our flaws or strengths to what someone else chooses to show the world. I don't know what my friend with the big ole house feels. Maybe she wishes she had 2000 square feet less to clean. I don't know how my friend prays for an hour a day. Maybe she has some heavy stuff to fit in that hour. Bottom line: stop comparing. Add that one to the resolution list. Also overheard during our MOPS steering meeting from Amber, our resident mobile fitness and nutrition guru, was that Chick-fil-A is not a food group. That's pretty close to being blasphemy, Amber and if you were Catholic, I'd find you a confessional. While it may not technically be a food group, it does deserve its own line in my budget.

--- 2 ---
I do not get too wound up over the latest trends and "must haves." Mostly because I am that mother who puts more thought into her toddler's wardrobe but also because to see is to want. If I don't go shopping and see all the beauty to behold, I won't want it. That works a lot of the time. It didn't yesterday. In the words I taught my friend's 3-year-old to say,  I neeeed these.  Dear husband, I gave you a child. And it hurt a lot. I'll save the www the gory details. I also gave you a dog, who sheds a lot. Yeah yeah you give me a lot too but there are no holidays coming up and I'm trying hard to guilt you into a "just because" gift.  Pllllleeease. Did I mention the 40 weeks of nausea and esophogas eroding heartburn??

--- 3 ---

Ross got me this great book for Christmas. Lisa Hendey profiles 52 saints whose lives are an encouragement to moms and whose prayers have worked miracles. This week's saint is St. Zita of Lucca. She is the patron saint of domestic tasks. I think Ross must have bought the book because of her entry alone.  St. Zita was a holy woman who worked as a domestic servant. She considered the most menial tasks to be an opportunity to show her love for God and as small penances for her sins. She scrubbed and cooked and cleaned for Jesus. Hmmmmm....

--- 4 ---

We had our first MOPS steering meeting of the new year this week. At the suggestion of my co-coordinator, Stacy, we began the meeting with prayer requests. Monthly we have a prayer meeting for our steering team but Stacy felt that there was a lot going on in the lives of many of our moms and we should spend some time taking requests and praying for these women. It was such a wonderful meeting and renewed my commitment to our organization and our mission. I am so thankful to work and serve alongside such amazing women who give so much time and effort to making the lives of young moms better.

--- 5 ---
Over the Christmas holidays, we had our favorite priest-friend come into town from Italy as our houseguest for a night. We awed him with our mad parenting skills when we took him and the baby on a hike in 32 degree weather. Apparently fleece mittens are no match for that kind of cold and our poor girl was so miserable. Not so much the serene hike we wanted to give our padre. On the upside, he did offer to say Mass in our home for us and another great couple, Kelly and Ryan Smith. It is beyond humbling to have a sacrament performed in your home and we know that many blessings come from making this little house a little holier. Thank you Father Tim!

--- 6 ---

Is anyone else feeling major letdown at the mailbox these days? It is such a bummer to go out and see three pieces of junk mail, a political flyer and a bill. Someone please mail me a picture of your dog or kid or something. Thanks.

--- 7 ---

I am very excited about some travel plans coming down the pipe. They are pushing me to trust more, pray more, and have more JOY. All good things that I can't wait to share!

Have a great weekend!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

a year and a half

Our girl is a year and half (and now, by print time, one day old) I can't help but think about the unique, amazing little person she is. This is a really, really fun age and I don't want to forget who the 18 month old Mary Kate is. I don't have the best memory in the world (despite what I tell my husband, particularly about old arguments :) so I know I will love having this blog one day.

She is at the same time rough and tumble and girly girl. Nothing excites her more than playing in the dirt, but one of her new words is pretty, pronounced "cretty." She loves my jewelry and always wants to hold it. For Mass this morning, I put a bracelet on her that my Aunt Kelly gave her on her Baptism day. She was so happy, holding up her arm "cretty cretty cretty!" She was also happy that her dress had a "mooooo" on it. Due to her ever increasing love of animals and our twice weekly chick-fil-a habit, girl has added cow to her list of favorite animals (duck still being in first place). She yells "mooo" at the top of her lungs anytime she sees one!

As I was drying my hair the other morning, I looked over to see this. To be fair, she had also removed every item from her father's chest of drawers but I decided not to show that photo. Rough and tumble, definitely. But also learning how to appreciate being a girl, yep! Rest assured, we won't be doing makeup for a very long time (unless we go on Dance Moms, my newest guilty pleasure!) but it was still super cute!

And like every budding lady except her mother, she is learning her way around a kitchen. My sweet Aunt Mary handed down our cousin's precious kitchen. This is not an ordinary, fisher price kitchen. It is a beautiful, wooden kitchen with some crazy food, sliced vegetables velcroed together and kids' knives and a box full of DILLY BARS. Yes, Dilly Bars. Count mommy in for play time anytime. She loves to pretend feed you and waits for your "yum yum yum."

She is as in love with Mack as ever and their friendship makes me happy I caved and got the dog.  I had a hunch that their little bond would get stronger as she got older and I was right. When MK wakes up in the morning, even just a yawn, Mack is up and letting us know. If she cries during her nap, he plops himself right in front of her door. That almost makes up for the face plant that dog gave me during a run last week!

Over Christmas, Ross had some extra time off so we got in a family zoo trip. Like most of us, I adore our time as a little family. My husband is wonderful, y'all. He is such a good, good man.  Watching our daughter, this person only he knows how much I love, bring him joy is one of my great joys. Anytime we walk into our bedroom, she yells "dada, dada!" And anytime a car comes in the driveway, it's the same. Watching the two people you love the most love each other is the warmest feeling ever. At 18 months, this girl is as in love with her dada as ever (if becoming more independent and selective about when she will tolerate his kisses!)

Part of the fun of this age is watching some transition from parallel play to real play. Today we got out of the car and each time, she said "jo jo? Jo jo?" Sweet girl thought we were going to see her little friend Joy. It has been amazing for Natalie and I to watch these girls, once so little and simply laying next to each other, now interacting as friends. First picture is from around age 9 months. Second is 9 months later.

As with most children her age, her vocabulary is exploding. Words now include mama, dada, mimi (either for 'me! me! or me-maw- unclear which), dog, moo, ball, more, amen (after grace), nononono! (most often when she goes near my diet coke can- she looks at me, grabs the coke and says no no.), bow ber for brown bear (favorite book by far- like her cyber friend Hawkins!), cacker, da-du, hi and bye (except like hiiiii and biiiiieeee, with the cutest little twang), nana (banana is first thing she asks for in the morning), Lana (after our favorite lady at CFA, I'm sure because it sounds so much like nana but it makes Elana so happy to hear her yell her name across the restaurant!), see see (as in, I'm standing in a chair and look at me- hence why both her little chairs are currently in the garage), bow (pronounced like toe, again, very twangy), yuck!, car, go, ni ni for night night, bowba (very specific name for baby, though sometimes we get a correctly pronounced babeee). I know there are others. Like all moms, the pronunciation and inflections crack me up. That little voice is the sweetest sound in the world (until 5 pm when it morphs into fingernails on a chalkboard!)

Be it nature, nurture or both, Ross and I live with a fiercely independent, head-strong, opinionated, loving, affectionate (when she decides to be!), funny, flirtatious (not even funny how this girl flirts - eyes fluttering, side glances, head thrown back. It is crazy), simply lovely little human. It feels like 18 years and 18 minutes all at once. Pure gratitude.