Thursday, June 25, 2009


I am an athlete...

...just WAITING to happen!

(And I think this is the most hilarious thing I've ever posted. So laugh with me.)


As a college student I had to learn a lot of psychology of human development, which is a fancy term for psychologists and their varying categories of development. We'd memorize one after another, Pavlov, Piaget, Bolby...the list goes on and on, each with their own developmental theories. As students we'd come up with mnemonics to keep them all straight. With Freud, four years later, I can run the stages through my head like a song, "Oral, Anal, Latency, Genital." Freud was a piece of work.

Luke, who turns three tomorrow (!) is in the "Anal" stage. Our situation yesterday is perfect evidence of this. While doing "school" which to Luke is five minutes with the Magna Doodble, I was having him reading the letter sounds in the word "at," and then appropriately "sat, hat, mat." Knowing his threshold would soon be up, I quickly asked him to spell the words for me.

"Luke," I asked, "spell M-M-M-Mat."
Luke replied, "M-A-T."
"Great, spell H-H-Hat."
Luke replied, "H-A-T."
"Good job, Luke. Now spell S-S-Sat."
"No!" Luke answered forcefully.
"No? Why don't you want to spell 'sat' for me?"
"I want to spell something different," Luke answered.
"Well, we're working on the 'At family,' Luke, what else would you like to spell?"
"I'm all done with the 'At family,'" Luke answered, "I want to spell a different word."
"Okay, buddy. What do you want to spell," I responded, trying not to get flustered.
"Let's spell...let's spell," Luke began, starting to grin. "Let's spell...I want to spell....Poop."

Then I laughed...and spelled it for him. Oh boy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Run! Run! Run!
I finally feel like I don't have a pregnant body, even though it's been three months since Paul was born. I feel strong and able to push myself physically. I ran 3.5 miles yesterday at 9:40/mile pace, which for me, after not running for nine months, is quite good. I'm excited now that my once aching and sore body is starting to feel like it's putting itself back together again.

A couple of my fellow Y girls commented how nice it must be to be able to run again, and to exercise in general without peeing my pants (!) and I couldn't agree more! Even Smokin' Hot Mom encouraged me during my last mile, and runs nearly twice as fast for twice as long.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon and Kate Make Me Irate

Let me start by saying that I don't watch Jon and Kate Plus 8. I watched a few episodes last year when it seemed like everyone was talking about it. After watching it I couldn't see the appeal and never watched it again. The last two weeks' episode have gathered a record number of viewers, and I'm proud to say that I'm not one of them.

I can't pinpoint exactly why Jon & Kate didn't appeal to me, but I have a good idea. Television in general has become increasingly dull to me, and I find that very little, if anything, will hold my attention before I start thinking that I could be doing a lot better things with my time. It comes down to this: I can't learn a thing from watching Jon & Kate, unless you count learning what I shouldn't do as a parent. Watching Kate scream at her kids and belittle her husband isn't going to make me a better person, and it doesn't teach me skills to be a more patient mother or disciplinarian. Observing a family doing more vacations and activities than any family I've ever seen, simply for a camera to record how insane corralling eight small children in crowded places doesn't teach me anything about family life or inspire me in any way. Do you ever see the Gosselin family just being a family...just 'being'? Apparently just being a family doesn't make good television in the same way trips to the Crayola factory and a marriage in turmoil do.

Oddly enough, I found out about the split last night while watching Anderson Cooper on CNN. So, Jon and Kate aren't just reality stars anymore, they're headline news, and 9 million viewers are standing by watching a family self-destruct. When I heard that Monday's episode would reveal a big announcement, I honestly thought that in the midst of a family crisis that they would turn the cameras off, stop the show, and make their family (children!) a priority, while dealing with their obvious marital problems.

However, I must be living in a dream world.

In my world, good parents make sacrifices for their children, even if it means giving up a comfortable lifestyle they've grown accustomed to. In my world, even though it isn't perfect and people have problems and disputes, they seem to still put others and their children ahead of themselves. In my world, I cannot think of a decent mother or father I know who would choose fame over their children.

In my world, I would give it all up if it meant that there might be a chance to keep my family intact.

Jon and Kate, I'm irate. Grow up. You have eight little children waiting for you to.


You realize you might have a problem when, at 7:30am, your big boy starts yelling through the house, "Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum! Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell...Diet Coke!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: Dressing with Dignity

Phew. I had a hay-day with my latest reviewing item from The Catholic Company. A few weeks ago I had an intense discussion with a friend about morality, modesty and standards for Catholic dress. The book Dressing with Dignity came up to review, and not having read it, I was excited to select it as my next item from The Catholic Company.

Dressing with Dignity is a Catholic manifesto stressing the importance and theological basis for Catholic female dress. Although the back of the book quotes, "Given the circulation it deserves, Dressing with Dignity has the potential to rout the fashion world's penchant for giving women little choice of chic yet modest attire...," the target audience for this book is solely orthodox Catholic women. As much as I would love a wider audience to read about modesty and virtue, let's be honest, how many readers are you going to lose when the author explains that you will go to Hell for all eternity if you have a mortal sin from the repercussions from immodest dress?

The big bomb shell of Dressing with Dignity is this: As a female, dressing modestly doesn't mean keeping improper body parts covered and looking generally presentable at all times. On the contrary, the author claims that pants worn by females is immodest. The author spends the entire book defending why skirts and dresses are the only modest clothing in the eyes of the Church.

The book does have great quotes from past Popes, Saints, and philosophers such as Alice von Hildebrand and Padre Pio. The quotes are insightful and definitely are cause for reflection. Anyone today, Catholic or Protestant, Christian, Jew, Atheist, etc. would probably argue that many women dress disrespectfully for themselves and those around them. The author also stresses the importance of femininity; looking and behaving presentable so as to honor yourself and the family. I couldn't agree more and was further convicted that appearances, while not stressing them, do give impressions to others, and that it is important to present yourself in the way you want to perceived.

Where the book starts to get fuzzy for me are the arguments for women to wear skirts or dresses, and that all forms of pants are immodest, or even a skirt with any form of a slit. The author has some compelling testimony from Padre Pio and past Popes, but at the same time, the bottom line is there isn't, nor will there ever be specific standards for dress dictated from the Church.

Also, the author leaves out practical uses for wearing pants, capris or shorts. What about exercise, riding a bike, pulling weeds from the garden? What about moms who are always on the floor playing with children and changing diapers and find that skirts are often too binding or revealing? What about in places like Minnesota where it can get so stinking cold that leaving the house with a skirt would be crazy?

The author has an extensive appendix in the back of the book with resources to find modest dress. As someone who generally wears skirts more frequently than pants, I was very open to exploring the websites the author suggested. The list of websites leaves much to be desired. First, many of the websites are broken, and one address led me to a website with provocatively posed women--not what you want in a modesty book!

The biggest problem I have with this book is the fashion standard the author has, as evidenced by the websites presented in the appendix. The dresses are old-fashioned. I would label many as "Pioneer" or "Prairie" style, and am convinced that I would draw much more unwanted attention wearing such dated clothes than a simple pair of khakis pants.

I don't want to slam this book, because I believe the message is a good one, it's just extreme. I'm finding that the older I get the more comfortable I am in skirts anyway, so maybe someday I'll make the plunge. I think Dressing with Dignity definitely deserves reading and reflection, just with a grain of salt.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Everyday counts...

As my sweet Paul Joseph is only days away from his three month birthday, I wanted to share a video about another little boy and his three months of life. You may have seen this before, as I had, but it's a good reminder, especially for mothers, that every day is a gift.


Another week of mediocre blogging on my part. Our computer broke down, and with three days of straight rain I made it my personal goal to get out of the house as much as possible to distract us from the rainy summertime racing past us.

Here's a quick report

Progress: I did 86 pushups last night. No kidding. Last night's pushups were the hardest stretch yet, but I'm determined to keep going. Also, I've continued to go to the YMCA and have advanced my workout to the treadmill where I successfully completed three separate three mile runs. At this very moment I'm contemplating whether we'll head to the Y this morning or not. It's so stinkin' humid I can't type without breaking a sweat, so just the thought of us getting rallied into the car might be all the workout I can handle today. We'll see...

Sweetness: Here's what Luke told me this morning, "Mommy, thank you so much for giving me Paul. Paul makes me so so happy."

Motivations: I'm drinking coffee. I love Diet Coke. I bought a bag of Double Stuf Oreos last night shopping. I haven't done that since I was pregnant, but my cart was filled with tomatoes, rice cakes, spinach, and flax bread, so I figured the indulgence wasn't so bad.

Stupid Mommy Award: Yesterday I put Luke to work painting with water colors at the kitchen table while I took a shower. Getting out of the bathroom I observed that Luke's door was shut and he didn't want me to come in (Insert suspenseful music here). Opening the door I saw that Luke wass painting a mural on wall with the said watercolors. Let's just say that he won't be doing that again...he got in pretty deep doo-doo.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Mallory is NOT blogging today, at least not right now. Naptime is my normal blogging free-handed while drinking diet coke and eating garbage time. Not today. I'm so stinkin' tired, and even after going to bed last night before 10pm I'm still dragging. I thought a morning workout would perk me up a little, but I've just had too many late nights and running around without a rest in between. So, as long as both boys are tucked snug in their beds, I'm taking a break...

Naps are never overrated.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Here's a recap on the quirks and crazies of our week.

*Luke is convinced that a T-Rex lives in our bedroom. He also thinks that the same T-Rex is going to get in his room through a window. He tells me that I can throw it across the drive and not to worry, that it won't eat my babies.

*Paul is laughing. I know he's only 10 weeks, but when he's happy he's the happiest baby I've ever seen. He loves to mimic, so when we're laughing as a family, not wanting to be left out he joins right in. His big gummy smile and his cooing just make us want to give him more of the only thing he needs: love, love, love.

*I have reached my swing-pushing quota this week. Luke is in the awkward stage where he absolutely cannot figure out the 'pumping' mechanism. Therefore, I am his personal thrill provider and am beat with holding onto to the baby with one hand and pushing a big boy with the other.

*I have officially killed off the two hanging flower baskets on our porch. I made it three weeks maybe? My other flowers are doing okay, and the iris are about to bloom, so I'm not a total failure, but I'm still bummed about the baskets. Maybe next year :( .

*Mark has golfed twice this summer and is psyched that his scores have been decent/good after going so long without playing. Can I brag?? Did you Mark know has had two hole-in-ones?!!!

*I have to admit that I am in dire need of a night out. It has been so long that I cannot remember how long...months, maybe five? There's a Blue Moon waiting for me...any takers?

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Today I'm posting about my love affair with the YMCA. For the past ten weeks I have been counting down the days until PJ was technically (or a couple weeks shy of technically...)old enough for me to leave him for a forty-five minutes at Kids Kastle while I get in a quick workout. Today was my third day back, and honestly, this week has been a breath air because of it.

In my case, exercise isn't about weight loss or fitness. I enjoy being active and feeling fit, but exercise, for me, is an emotional and physically outlet. Yes, I get a "break" from the house and children, but it's more than that. I'm honestly a happier, more positive and energetic person when I can get a good workout in.

I'm a better mother when I get in daily exercise. I'm more laid back, more patient and much more energy to play and do activities with the kids.

I haven't done my pushups yet, so you'll have to wait until next week for my total. However, I'm happy to report that I have 17 pounds left of baby weight...that's a total weight loss of 28 pounds since the baby was born. Slow but sure wins the race, right?

A Review: Paul in a Basket

I recently reviewed a product for The Catholic Company. The children's CD, Paul in a Basket, is the story of St. Paul set to music in a sing-along style. With Wee-Sing getting quite old, and Wheels on the Bus becoming intolerable, I was excited to see what else was out there for children's music.

Both narrative and musical, Paul in a Basket tells in Biblical detail the events leading to St. Paul's conversion, his own persecution, imprisonment, martyrdom, and scriptural references to his most famous passages. The CD can be played the whole way though with songs and narratives, but also has the option for music-only tracks, which is nice for navigating specific songs while driving.

Each song is distinctive, varying in tempo and style, which at first is confusing and muddled to the listener, but the variety is appreciated later after daily requests to listen to "Paul in a Basket."

Many of the songs have small puns, such as when singing about "The fruits of the spirit," the lyrics engage the listener by singing, "These are the fruits of the you glad." And, while portions start to sound a little like School House Rock, cramming as many words into a quarter note that will fit, it is nonetheless an effective way to teach children (and listening parents!) significant scripture passages. What a treat to hear a two year old sing "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, he's a new creation, he's a new creation. If any man be in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed before the new has come. Second Corinthians five seventeen." Like I said, it's a mouthful, but beats "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly."

Included in the Paul in a Basket CD are instructions to put on an actual Paul in a Basket production. Written in extreme detail, it was unpractical for children my ages. However, if I would go through the effort of putting on an entire musical, I would definitely want a book of piano accompaniment or voiceless tracks on a CD, which is currently not included in this product.

Overall, this is a great product and if there were another made I would highly consider purchasing it for the educational value alone(The story of St. Francis would be great for kids!). I learned quite a bit about St. Paul just by listening to these easy-to-listen songs and narratives.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Do you ever have one of those days when you all you feel good for is to be a milk machine, time-out maker, apple juice pourer, missing shoe finder, and Dr. Seuss reader?

They're dangerous.

Those are the days when you want to shout to the world, "Hey, I'm better than this! I have a mind and an education! My ideas are worth listening to! Why, just because I change diapers all day can't I make a positive contribution to this world?"

We already know what we're capable of, but it can be hard when no one acknowledges your non-mothering talents and you feel you have to prove them to the world before you're only identified as the lady with a kid on each hip.

Motherhood is a sacrifice. There is the obvious sleep-deprivation and time consumption, but you also sacrifice part of your identity that you have to fight to hold on to. Whether butcher, baker or candlestick-maker, dancer, writer or team supervisor, while totally devoted to our families, our talents extend beyond dressing a surly kid and calming a fussy baby.

It's a tough balance, and I have to admit, I struggle with trying to prove that I'm more than meets the eye. If nothing else, when I look at someone in a similar stage of life as myself, I can at least make sure to remember that they are more than just a good mom or dad, and make a point to recognize the many-facets and talents each person possesses.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Quest for the Perfect Diaper Bag

I'm so stinking frustrated with my diaper bag and now the search is on for a perfect diaper bag. The problem is that mine A) It isn't big enough B) There's only one large compartment and I'm a control freak and hate just throwing my stuff into a big mess without any organization, and C) It's ugly.

I bought a designer diaper bag when I was pregnant with Luke and then hardly used it. I tried hard to not get it dirty so I could remedy the buyers-remorse and sell it on Ebay. I used a plethora of bags with Luke and then just started to jam stuff into my over-stuffed purse.

The days of the purse are no more with bigger brood. And since dragging luggage through the grocery store looks awkward, I have to find a bag that works for our needs. Here's the problem, because I always have a child in tow, I need a bag with a long enough strap so it crosses over my shoulders, and most diaper bags are just shoulder bags so the strap and bag are on one side of the body. I have exhausted my resources looking at bag under the sun, and have even considered getting a backpack so both hips are free for two perched children to chill.

I'm actually very close to going the backpack route, my only holdup is that when I'm wearing wedged flip flops, a jean skirt and lip gloss, a Patagonia just doesn't fit the bill. Yes, I realize I'm being ridiculous, but if the look doesn't jive, let's be honest, I won't use it. One intriguing thought I had last night at Best Buy was getting a laptop bag. Some are messenger style, so it crosses over the body, and then it has compartments for organization.

I'm an 'everything but the kitchen sink' kind of a girl and carry my wallet, phone, lip gloss and an extra shirt for myself in the diaper bag (the shirt is for the spit-up, it's necessary now, but might not be in a few months). Then, I carry at least one diaper for Luke :/ , and three for Paul. Since cloth diapers use significantly more space than disposables, three cloth diapers can fill a bag fast. I also have an extra outfit for the baby, hand sanitizer, fruit snacks, nuk, hair binder, cheerios, rosary and a small prayer book.

I need a good bag. Have you found one that works?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Blah Blah Blah

Nothing of note to blog about today, or this week really. It's gorgeous outside and we're making up for nine months indoors by spending every sunny hour outdoors. For me that means dirty kids, dirty laundry and a dirty house. For Luke it means a whole new world of playing in the sand and slides that he's no longer afraid to slide down. For Paul is means taking naps in the car seat and nursing on park benches.

I really love summer, sunglasses, hot pink tote bags, popsicles and pretty gardens.

Now, someone kick me in August when I start blogging about how I miss wearing wool turtleneck sweaters and making chicken wild rice soup.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


It's not yet 8:30am and I've been completely drenched by spit-up TWICE.
So, we're going to have that kind of day, are we?
I'm backing away from the computer before I ruin something more than my shirt.
Peace out.


Yesterday I didn't have internet (torture, right?), and thus no progress report. I had this great picture to post, but Mark ended up taking the camera to work with him, so here I am, with minimal technology, trying to blog about baby weight.

We're starting a new workout program soon that I'm excited to blog about, but don't want to until we give it a whirl. In the meantime, I'll share that I have 18 pounds to go, and did 47 pushups yesterday..WOOT WOOT.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

"Luke sweetie, what are you doing?" I called to Luke this morning as we were getting ready to go to the library.

"Don't call me sweetie," Luke replied, "I'm not a sweetie, I'm a boy. My name is Lukey."

"Of course you're a boy, and your name is Luke, but your also my little sweetheart."

"No," Luke responded coolly, "I'm not a sweetheart anymore."

As fate would have it, at lunch began the biggest battle we've yet to fight, all starting with The Apple Heard Round the World,i.e. a lunchtime protest with the contents of Luke's plate thrown across the room. What ensued was a battle of the wills with one strategy on my part: win.

My Sweetheart turned Boy is now napping. Completely unable to get himself under control, he ended up falling asleep by screaming in his bedroom...without any lunch. My only hope now is that he doesn't wake up early from hunger and we start the over-tired tirade all over again.

Of course, my life would have been easier, at least for a time, if I allowed him to throw apple slices across the room, eat Cheetos for lunch and scream at his parents, but we just cannot allow that. Sometimes I'm tempted to take the easier road to avoid the immediate consequences, but then I have to remember that these battles are what prove our love to our children. Their defiance is a question to us, "Do you love me enough to care about the person I become? Are you tough enough to make me respect authority?" An hour of toddler screaming and a frazzled mother may be the immediate consequences of discipline, but I love him too much to find out the consequences of no discipline.

Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.