Here a potty, there a potty, everywhere a potty, potty

When we got to the restaurant last night, Jenny informed me she was wet. She’s been really good about using the potty at home, and even managed to go at my friend’s house when the friend watched her for three hours so I could take Fritz to the doctor. Luckily, I had put her in rubber pants and had a spare set in the car.

I told her, “Jenny, if you have to go potty, tell me. I will take you to the potty, even in the restaurant.”

She responded in the most incredulous tone, “They have potty’s here?”

I already know what’s up next: the Grand Potty Tour, whereby newly trained toddler must confirm in every public place exactly where the potty is and if it works just like the one at home.

Just count to ten ten times

Katie: Mommy, may I have some milk?

Me: Just a minute, honey.

Katie: (on the verge of crying) But I’m thirsty, Mommy!

Me: You can wait a minute.

Katie: (with scrunched up face and tremoring voice) Noooo, Mommy, a minute is toooo loooong.

Me: Katie, I just want to finish this. Count to one hundred, and I’ll be done.

Katie: (almost wailing) But I don’t know how to count to one hundred!

Oh, yeah.

Low-key birthday

Today is my wonderful husband’s birthday. Unfortunately for him, I am not at all on the ball, and I have nothing special planned for him. Of course, if I did, I could not post it here because he has figured out how to access my blog while at work and now reads it (if he has the chance).

Happy birthday, honey.

I guess we’re switching roles this year. He did a great job orchestrating a fantastic birthday for me this past April. In return, I’ve ordered some things for him, but I waited until, oh, yesterday, thereby guaranteeing their late arrival. I do have one small thing for him, but I don’t even have a card.

We were given four free tickets to the Washington Nationals game tonight. Bill plans to take the older three kids. This requires me to drive the kids into Arlington at least, because there is no way Bill can make it home and back into DC by game time. Fritz had an afternoon appointment at Walter Reed, and I thought we could go out to dinner after that and before the game. But the surgeon’s office just called and rescheduled the appointment for next Tuesday at 9 AM (not only will THAT be a fun rush-hour commute, but I guess I’ll start school on WEDNESDAY instead). So, we’ll just meet Bill at a restaurant in Arlington and see if the game gets rained out.

Not even a special home cooked meal for my honey. I’m slippin’.

But I was flipping through The Fanny Farmer Baking Book looking for a special dessert to make, and I noticed a meringue pie crust. I couldn’t find any subsequent recipes that actually used this crust, and I’m really disappointed, because it sounds yummy. Anybody ever heard of or used this kind of pie crust? I’ll find an excuse to bake if the recipe is a good one.

Well, off to shop for groceries. Special dessert must be kept a secret for now. But I’m salivating already.

Choose your own version

If you are in your thirties (or close to it), you may recall the choose-your-own adventure books. I loved those books. Today, I’m offering a choose-your-own version of my life.

Yesterday, Fritz had a noon appointment at Walter Reed to see how his mouth was doing. His surgeon had told me that he would not be there, but he hoped the results of the biopsy would be done by then. A nurse had told me the results would take ten days, so, excusing any doctors who may be reading this (ahem…Catholic Mom), I didn’t really expect to have any definite answers at his check-up.

Nonetheless, I was extremely anxious about taking him. I honestly did not want to go. The desire to figuratively crawl back into bed and bury my head under the covers was barely checked by that logical part of me that knows such actions are pointless. Cysts in the mouth do not go away all by themselves. Pretending that there was no problem wasn’t going to make it all better.

My friend watched the middle three kids while Fritz, Pete and I went for a ride. Walter Reed is about 27 miles from my house, but half those miles are through the city streets of DC with traffic lights and pedestrians. On good days/times, the drive takes about 50 minutes. The agony of this commute just heightened my nervous mood.

We got there and tried to find a spot in the parking deck.

Here’s where you choose:

If you are an atheist or an agonostic, go here.

If you believe in a Higher Power, but don’t really think that this HP has much to do with our daily lives, go here.

If you believe in an all-powerful Creator who holds you in the palm of His hand, feels the suppressed sob within your sorrowful chest, knows how much salt is in the tear you wipe from your eye, and loves you with an everlasting love, go here.

Note: all these versions tell the same basic story. There’s just more of “me” in each successive link.

The Dog Sniff

Now that I own a dog, I am noticing just how similar dogs and humans are. It’s not so much how human-like dogs are, rather how pack-like we are.

Take the dog-sniff as an example.

Dogs sniff each other to get an idea if the other dog is a friend or foe. It’s kind of a hey-nice-to-meetcha-do-ya-bite thing. We do the same thing, but in a more sophisticated fashion.

On Saturday, I walked over to a new neighbor’s house to invite her to a back-to-homeschool ice cream social at my house next weekend. We had communicated via email, but had not met in person. She lives right around the corner from me, and I was eager to meet her since her younger daughter is about the same age as Katie (and 5 – 6 year old girls are rare in this neighborhood). She invited me (and my 3 youngest children) in for a visit.

This is why it takes me an hour to check my mail at the mailbox three blocks away.

So we sat and chit-chatted for about 5 minutes. Has she started school yet? Did she get directions to the local Target? Isn’t it nice how close the commissary is?

And then she threw out an acronym to which I responded with a blank stare. She then identified the group as the Protestant Women’s group found on most military installations. I then said, “Oh, yes, I know what you’re talking about,” in that vague way that indicated I know about that group to which I do not belong.

And my first thought was, “Hey! I just got sniffed!”

Then I thought, “Great, now she thinks I’m a godless barbarian.”

Then I thought, “I should explain that I’m Catholic.”

Then I thought, “Hmmm…but then she’ll know I’m a godless barbarian.”

Then I thought, “This silent debate in my mind has taken way too long. Oh, well. So what if she thinks I’ll be Left Behind…”

There was a bit of a restless silence, and then we talked about something mundane like school cirriculums, and I called the girls, and we departed for another homeschooler’s house.

I wonder if she’ll let her daughter play with my daughter, seeing as we’re not in the same pack?

Today’s readings

The First Reading
Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges, and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people: “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

But the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD for the service of other gods. For it was the LORD, our God, who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, out of a state of slavery. He performed those great miracles before our very eyes and protected us along our entire journey and among the peoples through whom we passed. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

I had no faith. I prayed for faith. I was given an unshakeable faith.

I was frustrated and impatient with life, my husband and my children. I prayed for patience. And now somehow I manage to remain calm in the midst of insanity most of the time.

God has blessed me with a devoted husband, five healthy children, and a comfortable life beyond what I deserve. I have seen miracles worked before my eyes, from my “miracle baby” born with a true knot in his embilical cord to the closing of the hole in another son’s heart.

What other god could I serve? Like Joshua and the Israelites, I must serve the Lord, for He is my God.

The Gospel
Jn 6:60-69

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

I praise the Father for answering my prayer and drawing me to Him. Jesus’ words are hard, but, like Simon Peter, I ask myself where else can I go? his words are Spirit and life. The choice is clear.

Second Reading
Eph 5:21-32 or 5:2a, 25-32

Brothers and sisters: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

It was much easier to obey the Lord’s order to subordinate myself to my husband once I had committed to serving Him. What allegience would that be if I could choose the times and places that suited me to serving Him? It was also much easier for me to subordinate myself when I trusted my husband to love me and cherish me and always seek what was best for me.

Like Joshua, Moses asked the Israelites to make a choice: life or death? I, too, choose life!

How to win a race – toddler style

I had to attend a meeting on Thursday afternoon for the homeschool group. This time, my kids weren’t the only little ones. At first I was a bit concerned that it was going to be another meeting with barely contained chaos. Pete is at that age where shrieking loudly for no reason at all is loads of fun. And Jenny just dances and plays around him getting him wound up.

Then I noticed the older, “quieter” boys were having a conversation in a secret burp language.

Fortunately, the meeting was short and the kids managed to keep the noise down to a rumble. And I got a chance to remark at just how smart a baby can be.

Jenny and another friend were racing from one wall to another. Back and forth. Back and forth. Pete thought this was great. He waddled along behind the girls and imitated the way they threw their bodies on the wall. Then, they took off for the other side and left him in the dust. He quickly realized that they would race to the other side, throw their bodies on that wall and then race back to where he was.

So he stopped, turned, went back to the wall, and threw his body up against it. And then he waited, watching over his shoulder and laughing at his own cleverness. Soon, the girls returned to his wall and joined him. They thought he was pretty funny too, and declared him the “winner.”

If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t trying.