4 years ago

7 Quick Takes #25

A late 7 Quick Takes, and I apologize in advance, they’re not quick. Always a pleasure to join Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary.



I’m putting this out there right away: I’ve been working on a post, and scheduled it for next week- about the Catholic Mass, and why it’s so BORRRRINGGGG. This has proved a challenge because I’m trying to keep it simple and concise without turning it into a history lesson. But the Church is so RICH and so deeply rooted in history that it’s proved difficult because I LOVE giving you all the reasons behind reasons! Anyway: This’ll be fair warning, which apparently needs to be issued before anything I write that may be controversial because what always tends to follow are letters in angst requiring that I must have written it with “ME” in mind because “I just posted something on Facebook 6 months ago and I’m sure you saw it…”:

It’s about the Mass. and Mass is about Jesus. So, Jesus, if you’re reading this, then yes, this is about You. Other than that, sorry chums, it is not ye who I worship. But that’s the whole problem with people’s problem with the Mass, isn’t it? It doesn’t serve MY purpose, does it? Don’t stroke mah eeeego, do it? Don’t gimme the warm fuzzy fizzy lifting drinks, ‘innit?
…those, actually, were my issues with Mass anyway…
Youse all are probably more spiritually mature than myself, but it was a crutch I dangled from for a few years before I wised up and realized that the Mass is like a Dictionary TO BE CONTINUED…

Youse all have been warned.



Last week– uhhg. I loathe complaining about the difficulties of housewifery, because:
A.) Every mom, working or not, has tough weeks, months, years. RAISING A HUMAN BEING IS THE TOUGHEST JOB, in my humble opinion. So no matter what my difficulties are, the mom next to me has done it, will do it, or has experienced it tenfold.
And B.) RAISING A HUMAN BEING IS (to me, anyway) ONE OF THE GREATEST BLESSINGS LIFE OFFERS. How can I complain when I have been so blessed?

This week epitomized how the movies illustrate life is like raising kids:


Weary, fritzed-out mom chases down 2 year old who is giggling while running through the house haphazardly with a fork in his hand. Weary mom snatches fork, turns around to put it away only to discover 11month old standing on top of a table he climbed. As weary mom sets the precious feet safely upon the ground, the two year old comes running out of weary mom’s bathroom, eachfist clutching mom’s precious and dangerously low inventory of makeup and brush. Oldest child maximizes on window of opportunity as Mom is back in the kitchen, re-shutting utensil drawer which she’d caught the 2 year old rummaging through for the 2nd time in 3 minutes, to demand a snack. Weary mom, turns her back to slap cream cheese on a bagel and now the 11 month old is standing back on top of the table, the 2 year old running again, with a fork in each hand, waving them like ninja daggers and Mom exclaims in exasperation and the bagel eater delights in the chaos so much so, that he begins to trill in various monkey calls heard at the zoo the weekend previous. Can’t. hear. thoughts.

breastfeeding is the miracle worker

With Emmett’s developmental delay, I feel like I have two 1 year olds rummaging the house, cabinets, drawers –ANYTHING THEY AN GET THEIR HANDS ON throughout the day. Emmett didn’t start drawer-pillaging until the last few months, and Collin is just getting the party started.

I know I don’t help myself. We have two doors which do not have functioning doorknobs. Unfortunately, it’s the master bedroom and master bathroom. I have jimmy rigged only two of the most hazardous cabinets closed.

–Thar be plenty more to plunder, my youngest two snicker to each other through brainwaves– I just know that’s what’s going on!
My husband who loves me and my sanity, bought and fixed two new doorknobs, and drawer and cabinet locks for everything– as well as– are you ready to hear this? A GATE!
A whole new worrrrld! as I stand there: ALONE. SANS ANKLE BITERS. …and have a Coke and a smile.

The blurriness perfectly depicts the maniac delight I was experiencing in this moment.

Ahh. Doors locked. Cabinets locked. Drawers locked.
COME AT ME BROS! What now, huh!?
…yeah right. I know better than to taunt them…

Official Bumpy Bridge House Initiation: Baptism by regurgitated graham crackers.

…says the mother, who, the instant the gate went up, had no inhibitions of guffawing: “MUAHAHAHAAHAHAAHHHHH!!!”

Craig brought me back down to semi-phenominal, nearly-cosmic powers by pointing out that lauding the power of the gate over them in such a way will perhaps set them in the state of mind that this gate ordeal means instant not-good-ness and they’ll flip out over not having unlimited access to the kitchen. Ah. Touché, dear husband. Try being a leeeelte more subtle about it in front of the childrenz. I am a child.


Can we talk about my Emmett? He will turn 3 in December. We’ve now completed one speech examination and one speech therapy session. We’re scheduled for an Occupational Therapy examination next week, and in addition, we start with a second org more examinations in which a few therapists actually visit Bumpy Bridge and work with Emmy in his own environment.

He’s in queue to go through almost a week-long examination at the Children’s Hospital and hopefully he’ll receive an official diagnosis in October. The possible diagnoses (diagnoseses? Diagnosesesezz?) that we are suspecting range from a simple developmental speech delay, to a sensory processing disorder, possibly Asperger’s syndrome, or Autism.

Maybe I’ll write more about his developmental delays and how Craig and I came to notice it all in a separate post, but our concern so far has been whether or not Emmett is getting the correct therapy, and the proper diagnosis.

After establishing with the pediatrician that, yes, Emmett does need an evaluation, my husband called a few organizations recommended by Emmett’s doctor to set up meetings.

The first organization seemed more bent toward selling us their services than educating us about Emmett and his possible condition. We were both immediately disappointed that it felt more like hearing a sales pitch about the company than: “here is how we can help you help your son”.
Here we are, new to anything-delays in a child, and you’re trying to woo us with banners and shiny objects to spend money in your organization when we just want to know if we’re not going nuts over Emmett not reaching his “milestones” like other children are.

Craig and I are hoping to meet with an organization which can help us tailor our parenting for Emmett’s benefit. — we are hesitant to be impatient or quick to criticize therapists who are paid to do what they do.

For the evaluation, Craig and I spoke with the therapist the entire time, and gleaned that she appreciated that we are so in-tune to our boy, that we know his strengths and weaknesses, his little quirks and things that set him off, and we sensed that she normally has to interact with the child in order to make her assessments… as if parents cannot usually provide her the information!
Is how we know our boy due to attachment-style parenting? Do many parents really not know how to read their children, and just walk them into a center and go, “AH CAIN’T FIGUR OUT WHAT HE WAWNTS, WHAS WRAUNG WITHEEM?” ???

When we met for Emmett’s first therapy session, however, the therapist did nothing during the entire session that we don’t already do with him at home. I left with no further education about Emmett’s possible condition, how to better respond to his triggers, how to speak in a more creative or simple way to which he may be more receptive, how to understand how he tries to reason at this delayed developmental age…etc.

We want information. We want clear direction. We want to know how much Emmett understands us when we speak to him.
Neither Craig nor I want to come off looking arrogant in our assumptions so we are trying to reserve criticism, even though I just unleashed a straight-out critical spanking. “Maybe there’s a special technique we can learn” we both thought.
nope. Not so far.

I mean, I know, I’ve learned just from using NFP alone, that every person is different and cannot be placed into a tidy little diagnosis box, and especially when it comes to childhood development. SO I know even the doctors and therapists are going to need to get to know Emmett in order to better help… it’s just frustrating, you know? It’s probably safe to expect I’ll continue to vent here about this process.


So Saturday morning, I was sitting in the living room with Collin and Emmett.

Craig had taken Lexington to his last T-ball game of the season. I don’t go because there was this one time that I came and wore Collin in the Ergo and Emmett threw a sweaty kicking screaming writhing slobbering fit for the entire hour because he wanted to run amok and I wouldn’t let him and ended up having to carry him (30lbs) on my front, with Collin (20lbs) on my back in the Ergo, on a hill.  80+degree weather. jeggings. long jeggings. (with a pool in my sights, oh, wretched torture!)

Note the taunting pool behind them… Bali Ha’iiiiiii, will call youuuuu

I even had my Mother-in-law there to sway his attention with a snow cone. This photo is a second before Emmett threw himself onto the grass for a the beginning of the worst of it.  I’m plagued with chronic photo documentary-ism for better or for worse, I guess.

So, no. I am not brave enough for repeat tantrum fests if I can help it.

They’re both pacifier boys. I noticed that Collin didn’t have his so I experimented (expecting the usual, Emmett ignoring/not understanding me) and suggested to Emmett that he find a “paba” for baby Colliny too. Lexington, my helper and people-pleaser, would’ve high-tailed and grabbed a pacifier before I even noticed a need for one.
Emmett disappeared into the kitchen, Collin teetering behind him because big bros are the coolest. I heard a drawer open and close.
It’s the utensil drawer, sigh, I thought. This whole week, he’s been discovering that he can open drawers and take the contents out. So he’s been transporting all of the forks into the living room all week. One by one. The plus side of this activity, is that he grabs one and comes trotting in mumbling “fork” to himself– which is GOOD! He’s remembering the names of objects. But pointy forks are so not safe. to walk around brandishing. WHY. WHY!?

Back to the paba moment: slap-slap-slap, Emmett’s heavy, bare feet come smacking the marble floor out of the kitchen and into the living room:
no fork in his hand.
Behind Emmett, emerged Collin— WHO NOW HAD A PABA IN HIS MOUTH.
From what I deduce, Emmett opened the drawer, grabbed a spare pacifier, and gave it to his brother as I half-heartedly suggested.

My heart broke and I nearly cried as I praised Emmett for completing a task I’d asked of him.
He smiled, hugged me, and went back to his books.


GAAAARHGHG!!! Collin is 11months old Saturday. A little earlier than this time last year, I began crocheting a blanket for him which I thought would be special if I worked on it for his first year outside of the womb and completed it by his first birthday. Totally not done.
As I’m not an organized scrap booker, or saver of every scribble on paper ever made by each of my children, I consider this blanket project above and beyond for my standards. They each have a memento box with a few special things from each year of their life, but again, it’s not fancy.

It turns out, the story of this blanket is more than just Collin’s first year outside the womb.

I started crocheting it while he was still in my belly. I worked on it while I was in labor with him, while I was working through some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, yet continued on to birth him, the first one, without pain medication. It’s been pulled apart multiple times by his big brothers. It’s sat weeks without being crocheted a single stitch. It’s been prayed and prayed and prayed over and I think I’ll have it blessed. It’s traveled with us to grandparent’s houses (in vain as I always envision I’ll be able to prop my feet up and needle away as if my boys will magically not need me any less while at Grandma’s house).

I don’t want to encourage too much attachment to any one thing (or even to memories, that’s why I’m not a big memento saver) because my goal is to always point my children to a grander picture of life (-And there we have another blog post in the making.)

So a blanket. I used to knit, because I thought it was superior to crocheting (well, well, well, what lofty aspirations, Carolyn!), but then I’ve never been one to enjoy the ridiculous counting of the stitches or rows (no matter how much more noble knitting may be) lest my blanket come out a wonky rhombus. However, I came to realize that crocheting and knitting are both equally complicated, OR simple, given the stitching pattern you so happen to choose.
I figured the YouTube vid I watched as a refresher was teaching me the most basic stitch, but I was wrong. It’s called a double-half-hoopty-loopty-floopty. But dad-gum, I have indeed trucked on, and realized I’m making it way bigger than intended.
I’m maybe 2/3rds finished.
Huff. Puff. I wish there was a sound effect for crocheting, but there really isn’t. It’s a lovely, silent hobby. Smile.
Conclusion: I’ll take my time finishing and let the blanket tell its own story, and maybe I’ll write it for him to read when he’s older. And I’ll do one for my other boys, too.

The only photo I could get of him before he completely threw the blanket off. Wants nothing to do with it.

mmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmjj–6–

[^ that was my oldest son’s input. I think it’s code for “mmm, jumping jellyfish!” emphasis on the flavor]

I had another completely unrelated Take written here about quitting using shampoo and going all out hippie with a DIY Honey Hair was that my Cathso sister Kendra from FL&P recommended to me but I’ll write about it another day.


And here’s my dad with CJP.

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