Thursday, February 2, 2012


Outside my window...we've had an early surge of Spring.  My kids have spent hours of non-schooling time outdoors because it's been so warm and sunny.  The pessimist in me is wondering when we'll get the next dump of snow.

I am thinking...Camille is smarter than all the Duggan's put together.

At 17 months old, she still is not walking.  Mind you, it's not because she can't.  She will not walk.  She's taken a few independent steps on more than one occasion, yet she doesn't take the plunge towards freely walking on her own.  I can't say I blame her.  If generous people carried me around everywhere they went, I wouldn't be motivated to move either.

None of my kids were ever mobile early, but this is bordering on ridiculous.

Oh to be wildly loved.

That's Camille.

Wildly loved.

I am pondering...why my kids are so taken with Winter from Dolphin Tale.  They're obsessed.  They've begged me to watch Winter's live stream video on the webcam.  They've insisted we go visit her when we make a trip to see Aunt RaRa and Ted.  And Meaghan's and Mary Bernadette's future career aspirations now includes dolphin training.  (Though Mary Bernadette told me today she also plans on making it big as a professional singer.  If there is anyone who could swing both dolphin training and a debut on the big stage, I believe it's Mary Bernadette.)

For whatever reason, the movie has pulled my children's heartstrings and I dare say it's because Winter offers hope.

Don't we all need a little of that?

I am thankful...for the adorable things my kids say:

Christopher regarding his battery operated four-wheeler that was out of juice:  "It's tired, Mom."

Christopher regarding the precocious little boy bunny in Margaret Wise Brown's Runaway Bunny:  "He's my best, best friend."
Meaghan: 'We're gonna leave you some day.  Then you'll get to do whatever you want."

Me:  "You're really going to leave me someday?"

Meaghan: "I'll stay close by or you can come visit us.  We'll be training dolphins."

Mary Bernadette: "Yeah, we can show you Winter's (the dolphin) tricks.  We'll even let you ride her."

In the kitchen...I recently subscribed to a meal plan compiled by a chef.  Each week an email containing a weekly grocery list along with 7 nights worth of easy recipes.  So far so good.  There have only been two meals the kids weren't keen on and it was because they were too spicy. (My bad.  I never mind food with a little kick to it.)  The service has saved me a ton of time planning and I do think it's cheaper to buy ingredients for 7 meals at a time as opposed to throwing whatever I think I can cook into my cart.  Plus, I love always having a plan.  It saves me much time and stress. 

I am wearing...jeans and a pink t-shirt.

I am creating...hard workers.

Disclaimer:  I totally had to bribe them with candy in order to get them to move the wood.  But my promises of fruit slices for all who stacked wood inspired them to bundle up and get to work.

A little manual labor never killed anyone, right?

We may need a quick course in stacking.

Here's my Ramona.  She dressed herself.  The girl has style.

I think their dad told them for every 5 pieces of wood they earned a piece of candy.  She cleaned up in candy.

I love Christopher's had and mittens.  I found them for $2.00 at Old Navy.

If Patrick leads, Christopher follows.  

John saved the Christmas tree to burn. He sees everything in terms of btu's.

I am get to take that photography class after all.  John Duggan is a good man.  It's four whole classes and each of the classes meets for several hours.  He'll be on duty while his wife is out learning her craft.

I am wondering...if it will always be possible to help my children feel better when they are sad.

Mary Bernadette was upset last night and I knew it.  She was sitting next to me on the couch and we were sharing a blanket.  When she ducked her head underneath it to hide her tears, I followed her, which made her feel better right away.  We giggled and talked for a few minutes about silly things.  I promised to paint her nails, another sure-fire way to make her smile.  When she fingered my Mother Mary necklace and asked me if she could wear it, I got up and gave her a new miraculous medal I had recently purchased for something else.  She was thrilled.

"I'm never going to take it off," she promised. 

See?  When she's 5, I can make things go away.  Right now, when things are emotionally challenging for my children, I hand out lolly pops or I hug them or I suggest we change activities.  It's easy when they're little.

But what about when they're bigger?

What about when they're 10?  Or 13?  Or 18? 

5-year-old heartbreak looks a lot different than 19-year-old heartbreak. It just does.

I am reading...A Father's Tale
Little House On The Prairie (with the kids)

I am get a good night's sleep sometime soon.  Camille is in a wicked teething streak and is up hourly crying and pulling at her red, swollen gums.  Christopher and Mary Bernadette wake up throughout the night because they are afraid of the dark.  I finally gave up carrying everybody back to their beds all.night.long. and asked John to put an extra toddler bed in our room.  Now, at least one of them can just hop into the little bed without disturbing anyone.  They're happy and sleeping and I'm just happy.  Sleep?  Not so much.

While John and I go to bed by ourselves, we wake up with three extra bodies around us.

Some day I'm going to miss that.

I am looking forward to...a visit from an old roommate.  She knew me before John, when I started dating John, and way before kids.  I was in her wedding.  It's been 10 years since we've seen each other and a lot has happened.  We have a lot of catching up to do.  I'm excited.

I am's important to make sure I'm listening to the Right Voice.

Around the house...I've figured out if I fold a load of two of clothes in the morning while the kids eat their breakfast, I can have the kids take up their pile before they get dressed for the day.  This way, I can generally keep up and I don't have that 'Oh my gosh, I'm fighting the battle of the laundry and I'm loosing."

It's worked for four days.  Will I have staying power? 

That's the question.

That's always the question.

A favorite quote for today... While praying the Liturgy of the Hours yesterday, I read this.  It's quite fitting, I think:

we must maintain great stillness of mind, even in the midst of our struggles. We shall then be able to distinguish between the different types of thoughts that come to us: those that are good, those sent by God, we will treasure in our memory; those that are evil and inspired by the devil we will reject. A comparison with the sea may help us. A tranquil sea allows the fisherman to gaze right to its depths. No fish can hide there and escape his sight. The stormy sea, however, becomes murky when it is agitated by the winds. The very depths that it revealed in its placidness, the sea now hides. The skills of the fisherman are useless.

Only the Holy Spirit can purify the mind: unless the strong man enters and robs the thief, the booty will not be recovered. So by every means, but especially by peace of soul, we must try to provide the Holy Spirit with a resting place. Then we shall have the light of knowledge shining within us at all times, and it will show up for what they are all the dark and hateful temptations that come from demons, and not only will it show them up: exposure to this holy and glorious light will also greatly diminish their power.
                         ---From the treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice, bishop

One of my favorite things...Camille playing peek-a-boo.  Seriously, you haven't lived until you've seen her do it.

Camille and the fake laugh she uses when the other, older, cooler kids are all hooting and hollering about something.  Seriously, you haven't lived until you've seen her do it.

Camille when she we walk by a picture of Jesus.  'GEE!' She yells at Him while she smiles and claps her hands.  Seriously, I know God, the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son must melt like I do when they see it.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a visit to Papa and Dedo. 

A peek into my day...

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