Friday, February 27, 2009

Not Quite

"Okay, Luke, let's lay down and say our bedtime prayers." 

"Otay, Mommy. Thank you Jesus for my num-num you bring down the chimney." 

We have some work to do. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mama Drama

We've had a rough week. My blog posts this last week have been a foreshadowing of what was to come, culminating in the worst sickness I have ever had. It landed me in the hospital for fluid replacement and made Ash Wednesday fasting a breeze. At home there's a blizzard outside, which for me is a command from God that I need to stay home and take it easy regardless of the Cabin Fever running rampantly these winter months. 

Now, at the beginning of Lent, I have begun to rework my entire attitude towards sacrifice. I've learned through instruction that the reason we sacrifice during Lent is not simply to deny ourselves as Jesus did in the desert for 40 days, but to empty ourselves in order to make room for Jesus. I have plenty of bad habits, and giving up a specific food or foods would do wonders, but I think that there is something to be said for the sacrifices that we don't prepare for and yet are forced to cope with as best as grace allows. I've learned that lesson this past week. 

With my family sick I had to drop my plans, stay home and take care of them as best as possible. The produce I spent extra money on at the grocery store for nice meals before Lent will most go to waste since no one has an appetite. Going to the gym, which has been my sanity these winter months, is out of the question. My regular laundry schedule is backed up with the addition of the unexpected bed sheets and towel changes. Then, when I got sick, the sacrifice continued. My husband had to take the morning off of work after taking off the day before to recover from his own sickness. I had to lay in a hospital bed for five hours in order to replenish my lost fluids, and I had to be wheeled through the hospital in a wheelchair, my own place of employment, and accept the humility that I was too sick to walk all the way to the hospital. These sacrifices were unexpected but have had far more of an impact than giving up chocolate or diet coke. 

Now at home recovering, I'm forced to be still, to let things go, and to more attentively listen to my family. Where a few days ago I considered reducing the television Luke watched, I now realize that a day in front of the tv watching Jesus movies is exactly what he needed, and that although a week has passed since the onset of his sickness, a quiet day in his jammies is doing much more good than harm. 

With a new baby coming in the midst of Lent I know that our unexpected sacrifices are far fromCheck Spelling over. We may not be prepared for them, but we can pray to have the grace to handle them as a family striving for holiness.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Since I'm no fun anymore because I'm tired, pregnant, and cleaning up puke most of the time, let me direct you to some shameless online entertainment. 

I know it's bad to facebook and read blogs all day, so get the kids some apple juice before you sit down to read this woman's blog. It's my favorite. It's raunchy, a little raw, and yet devout in some twisted way. If this lady was my friend I'd pee my pants from laughing everyday. 

Barney and Friends

If anyone is so bold as to comment, I'm curious as to your opinion on the kids show Barney. I'll explain my opinions and reasoning later, but I'm honestly just wondering if your kids watch it, if you like it, what you think of it, or if you think it's corrupt and terrible. 

Come on, this is a safe place, tell me how you really feel. (I think that's a line from a movie, not sure which one quite yet. I'm a little fuzzy this morning, see post below). 

Weekend Update

It's a Monday, enough said. I've just completed seven working weekends in a row and now it looks like I'll only have one more weekend of work before the baby comes. The past few days have been a blur with working late hours and having a sick child on top of it. It seems that it wasn't long ago when all I could manage to blog about was toddlers and their body fluids. I'm there again. 

I spent the morning diluting orange Gatorade and making my way from the couch to the DVD player to shuffle the half hour movies that Luke enjoys. Both of us are tired, Luke from sickness and lack of sleep, me from lack of sleep and pregnancy (which are one and the same).

Today I'm looking forward to lunch at 11am, and naps at noon, we'll get there.

This is Mallory signing out now, leaving the blogosphere behind and embracing the reality of leaking diapers, puke buckets, liquid diets and lots of snuggling. 

Have a good day! 

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I don't know what I was thinking, but I may have made the worst mistake of my life when, trying to make laundry fun and adventurous, instead of grudgingly loading dirty clothes into laundry baskets and lugging them down three stories, I threw them, much to the amusement of the two-year old, down each flight while yelling "Bombs Away!" 

Big mistake. 

Life will never be the same. 


You know that you have to get off the couch or computer, stop reading that book, or whatever distraction it may be that's keeping you from totally supervising your children when, upon entering the bathroom you spy an entire roll of unused toilet paper--still on the roll, sitting at the bottom of the toilet bowl; the 2-ply absorbency working its best to soak up every last water droplet. 

I'd better go now.
The end. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


If you opened my bathroom closet today you'd find 32 bars of soap, four tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes too numerous to count, three bottles of lotion, at least an extra shampoo and conditioner, and enough toilet paper to last my family a year. You'd think we were preparing for End Times or for Global Warming to annihilate Wal-Mart, but no, there is not a disaster imminent, there's a baby on the way. 

I wish I could be writing about how during this last month of pregnancy I'll be knitting blue booties and napping in the afternoon, but I won't be. Unfortunately, I'm very nervous and lacking the peace I've been seeking these last nine months that has yet to come. In addition to sleeping poorly, now I'm up in the night worrying and fretting about all the things that are out of my control. 

I have no idea what this little boy will be like when he comes out, and even if I did, what could I do about it anyway? I don't know if this baby will need nurse all the time, be up all night, projectile vomit, and scream anytime he's not being held upright, standing, and being jiggled at the same time. I have no idea if he'll scream in the car, scream in the grocery store, and scream everywhere I take him. I don't know because I don't know him yet, and still I sit awake at night worried about running out of toothpaste and agonizing over how I'm going to manage the store with a screaming infant.  

Right now I'm doing the only thing I know how to do, which is to plan, prepare, and pray for peace that regardless of what's to come that we'll be able to handle it. Worry is my constant companion, and as hard as I try to convince myself of the uselessness of anticipating what's to come, it's always looming there urging me to make another list of to-do's, or believing that buying that extra roll of toilet paper is going to make the transition to two kids easier. 

Take a deep breath. Ready or not, here he comes.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Small Stuff

I'm in the house...alone. Can you believe it? Has this ever happened, ever? I think I have an hour, so I'm doing what any sensible woman would do. I'm going to eat Oreos and milk, clean and vacuum the toy room, and then indulge myself with Access Hollywood. 

If there's time after that I think I'll whip out a dust rag, Pledge, and play Britney Spears as loud as I can handle. After all, I'm in the house ALONE!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Fruit Snack Incident

I'm not a very exciting grocery shopper. Every week I clip coupons, plan a rough menu for the week, make a precise list for the grocery store, and buy only the items on my list. This system has worked well for our family, and since I rarely buy junk food, on the weekends or a special night if we're craving chips, ice cream or cookies, we have to leave the house to get them.

Last week on an exciting curtain shopping trip at Menard's Mark picked up a box of Finding Nemo fruit snacks.  I don't buy fruit snacks, just like I don't buy fruit roll ups, pop tarts, teddy grahams, or granola bars. I only recently started buying animal crackers and goldfish as they are the only foods allowable for kids at the YMCA, but otherwise, most of these foods just seem too commercialized for me and have the nutritional value of a Snicker bar. But, like any parent, both Mark and I thought a little treat wouldn't hurt anything. 

These small packages of gelatinous fish have caused more problems than I'd care to recall. Luke wants fruit snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while I'd prefer to keep them as a reward tool for good behavior, using the toilet properly, or as a bribe to ensure total cooperation. The situation is now out of control. I have to keep close guard on the cupboard to prevent Luke from climbing the shelves, and when I'm not looking he'll drag a chair over to the cupboard and sneak the fruit snacks off. When I catch him in the act I face the wrath of a scorned two year old and for twenty minutes pay the consequences while I try to calm down, discipline, and then assure the temperamental boy back to rationality.

I don't know what the answer is in this situation. Do I need to completely eliminate sugary foods from our lives and only have them appear in Easter baskets and Christmas stockings? Or, do I make them casual fare, nothing to make a fuss over, and avoid the temptation they pose in the cupboard? Either way I'm in over my head and at war with a Clown Fish.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Turning Tides

Last week was rough. It was exhausting. It was very near awful. 

Luke was naughty, had tantrums multiple times a day, refused to nap, refused to go to bed, and all around did everything we have worked so hard for him NOT to do (hit, kick, bite, yell, scream, escape from his bedroom, you get the idea). 

Late in the week last week during dinner Mark had to take Luke away from the table for some discipline. It was a breaking point for me. As I heard Luke up in his room crying from his punishment, I too started to cry. All the while thinking, "This is SO hard. This is TOO hard. I don't know what to do anymore!" I felt I had used all the tricks in the bag, and had ran out of patience and energy. "Why," I thought, "Why, after being the sweetest most loving boy in the world could he just turn on me like this? What makes a child well-behaved or badly behaved, and what in the world am I doing WRONG?" 

Mark and I had many concerning conversations at all hours of the day last week. One afternoon I called him, too upset and too tired to handle the current revolt. I wanted him to leave work early and come home. I wanted to climb into bed, fall asleep and hand the chaos over to him. I wanted to forget my responsibilities and pretend that my sweet little two year old was as perfect as ever. Of course, none of these were viable options and we had to take everyday, sometimes every hour at a time, hoping to remain consistent and not resent Luke for his lapse in behavior, not knowing how long it would take before he turned around, if ever.

This week the sun came out, literally and figuratively. The snow began to melt, we didn't have to start the car twenty minutes before leaving the house, and warmth returned to our home. After a week of bitter winter, springtime returned to Luke in full force. Exhausted as I am every Monday morning after working late hours, I dreaded what the day had in store for me, hoping and praying that the Lord wouldn't give my fragile state too much to handle after a rough week. Monday turned out to be marvelous, as did Tuesday, Wednesday, and today. Not only would I have great news to report to Mark at the end of the day, at least once a day Luke would call him, telling him about an accomplishment and his good behavior. I have breathed easier this week, enjoyed motherhood thoroughly, and thanked God repeatedly for His intervention in our home. 

When things are going badly it's so easy to get caught up in believing that they will remain that way. In the midst of our bad week I never once thought about the possibility that our circumstances would change. Just the opposite, in fact, thinking that my kid would be the bully on the playground, the juvenile delinquent or the one who runs away from home. It's only after the sun cames out on our situation that I began to realize how lacking I am in faith and how much more reliant I need to be on the One Truth Thing. Who knows what the next week will bring, or the years to come, but life is like the tides, having highs and lows. I may not be prepared for the next low, but I will know that like the winter, it won't last forever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Yesterday, at one of my mom's groups, the featured speakers were a panel of married couples who had stood the test of time. Three couples, all married for over fifty years, were there to share insight, stories, and reflections. I could go on and on with all the sweet stories they told and the inspiration they gave me by hearing of their humble beginnings, hard work and triumphs, but instead I'll share one moment that touched me especially. 

One husband was answering a question about the process of growing together as a couple. Going off on a tangent he began talking about other men and the treatment of their wives. "I get very upset when I hear husbands call their wives 'My Old Lady' or other names that are insulting," he said, "When I hear a man refer to his wife that way I can't help but thinking much less of him. I could never talk about my wife that way. She's my wife, but she's so much more, she's my companion, my partner, my helper." 

Then, choking back tears he said, "She's my bride, she's beautiful. She's my friend." 

After raising their children and admittedly going through highs and lows, successes and failures, how beautiful to see that through it all these couples continued their discovery of each other and have loved each other through it all. What an example to admire. 

Saturday, February 7, 2009


It's Saturday, which means for us that I only get a few hours with my family before I head to work for the night. This Saturday is especially tight because Mark had to go into work this morning so family time was extremely limited. Fortunately, last night I got my butt to bed by 9:30pm which made this morning fairly tolerable. Since weekend family dinners are non-existent, we had a family breakfast with homemade muffins, grapes and juice. After a rough night with Luke where he had me in tears (another blog post...) he was an angel this morning and we all enjoyed some Saturday relaxation. 

Being that my brain is fried and I don't have much time, here is, without any cohesion to a topic, a few things that I've been thinking about. 

First, after endless requests in the car for "kids songs," specifically "Wheels on the Bus," I downloaded some new kids tunes on my iPod. I bought the entire Barenaked Ladies kids album, "Snacktime." It's not bad. A couple of the songs are pretty fun and Luke is already requesting them by name. I am tempted to buy some Hap Palmer, who, if you were unaware, is a kids songs extraordinaire. In college I actually taught some lessons using his music. 

Also, I have been meaning to post about my love affair with the YMCA. I can honestly say that I don't know what I would have done without the Y in the past six weeks. It has been so incredibly cold outside that the thought of going on a walk or taking your kids out is absolutely insane. The Y has been wonderful for both me and Luke to get a little exercise and to get out of the house for a little while everyday. For me in the last weeks of pregnancy I have really noticed a difference in the way I feel when I exercise. My legs don't cramp up at night, and I don't nearly have the trouble with 'restless leg syndrome' on the days I exercise. I'm secretly hoping that all the working out I'm doing is going to help me towards a quick and easy labor. We'll see...

Oh, and let's see, I had my checkup on Thursday and I'm up to a 40lb weight gain. Thank you, thank you. I don't really care, except that I put on this much weight with Luke, too, and I vowed to myself that I would see those numbers on the scale again and would try to eat a lot better. The truth is that I have eaten much better this time around, but the weight still has packed on. I'll be up to 50lbs by the time I deliver. My doctor was very supportive when I brought it up to her and convinced me that the weight I have been putting on is what my body needs to make a healthy baby, but still, it's not a pretty number to see on the scale. Oh well. 

Have a great weekend!  
P.S. I have to go to work RIGHT now and don't have time to check for typos. Forgive me, grammar police. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tact: Part 2

In the interest of being fair and balanced, along with not trying to give the impression that the world is out to get me, I want to share some nice things that people, largely unknown to me personally, have said that have stuck with me and made me feel good. Whether or not they really meant what they said or they just knew exactly what a mom needs to be told doesn't matter, the thought was there. 

1. There's a smokin' hot mom at the gym who is always there with her kids when I'm there. Every time I see her she makes a point to say something encouraging to me. Going to the gym when you feel so large and can't work out as hard as you used to isn't exactly a confidence booster. So, to be told after every workout what a good job I'm doing is priceless. Thank you, smokin' hot mom!

2. Motherhood suits you

3. Pregnancy looks great on you

4. You're all baby (Let's be honest though, if you put on 40lbs by 33 weeks, you're clearly more than just baby)

5. I love baby bellies

6. You have a beautiful family

7. More than once an older mother has smiled at me and instead of remarking on how I have my hands full, etc., she'll say "Raising kids was the part of my life. " 

So, thank you women, men, fathers and mothers out there who are lifting us young mothers up and giving us support when at times we can only recall the negative. You make us smile with pride for taking on the nine-month task. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Round Two

Twice in less than a week I have bailed out on dinner. I left the house this morning at 8:15am and went to my Catholic mom's group, had a meeting with Fr. Kris, took Luke shopping for a new pair of jeans, went out to lunch with my little bud, drove 35 minutes in the car, deposited a check in the bank, spent an hour at the library, then chased after Luke in the clinic and attempted to keep him quiet while discussing birthing plans with my doctor. After another 35 minute drive home, an apple juice tantrum, a leaky diaper, and hearing "carry me" for the 100th time, I am exhausted. 


At the point of total breakdown I left a message with Mark at work, "I can't cook tonight. I can't. I'm going to lose it." 

So, Chinese it is. He took the 2 year old with him, to boot. Now, with a few minutes of solace in a jam-packed day I think I'll head to the bathtub and read some necessary prayer books. 

I only hope I don't fall asleep in the tub.


Here's a useful list of things NOT to say to an expectant mother in her eight month. 
(FYI: These things that have actually been said to me throughout the course of my pregnancy).

1. So, you're done after this, right?
2. I'm sorry you're having another boy.
3. Too bad you didn't get a girl this time and could be done.
4. Wow, you put on some weight this month. 
5. How much weight have you gained so far?
6. How much do you weigh right now?
7. That looks pretty good on you for being pregnant.
8. You're getting big. 
9. You're not going to "x, y, z..." like you did with Luke, right?

There are a couple I'm thinking of that I won't post because they're awkward, but you get the drift. There are plenty I have heard from other moms out there that clearly take take the cake, but I figure you moms out there will be able to add to the list just fine. 

Let's just laugh them off and hope that people can learn from their thoughtless remarks. 
Have a happy day! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Minivan Mom

We got a minivan!!!

After trying unsuccessfully to buy a vehicle locally, yesterday after Mark got home from work we piled into our CRV and headed down to Little Falls where a car dealer had promised us the price we wanted for a van similar to the one we looked at the other day. After a test drive and lots of questions the dealer followed through on his promise and we drove two vehicles home.

Our minivan to the stars is decked out with leather heated seats and a miles per gallon gage. The downside for me is the color, it's champagne, which is just a fancy word for light boring brown. Oh well, it's still transportation, and after a year of getting by with one car I feel a new sense of freedom and life becoming a whole lot more convenient.

I took our new car to the YMCA this morning and now am now out of excuses for not being able to get to the gym. I suppose that means that I am out of many more excuses now, such as getting things to the post office, running out of milk and coffee beans, toilet paper, and the many other things that we tend to run out of due to not being able to run to the store at any whim.

Yeah for a family car!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mom Jeans

We might buy a minivan tonight. Wow. I'm totally excited but admittedly a little freaked out at my excitement to be in the minivan stage of life. I keep thinking of all the wonderful ways a minivan would make my life easier, for instance, sliding one door open and putting the kids and groceries inside instead of having to go to a different end of the car for each. It's almost too much to handle. 

Like many things, I didn't wake up one day and decide I wanted to be a minivan mom, it came as a process of throwing glamour out the window and replacing it with practicality and efficiency. 

There are other temptations lurking out there, I want desperately to cut my hair again like I did right before Luke was born, and I have left the house with a long braid and ankle length denim skirt. I am not proud, but I did what I had to do. 

Is the tapered leg far off? It goes hand and hand with a Town & Country