Seven Quick Takes-Friday, Aug 23 (Caution! Scary Basement Pictures!)

1. I write these quick takes as I listen to my first St. Louis Cardinals game this season. It is almost September. I feel like an awful fan. I am really sorry about this guys. I have been checking the standings all season and reading my St. Louis Post Dispatch baseball app occasionally. I am not sure what happened this summer, maybe we moved and then the basement was chaotic. Listening to games reminds me of when I was in high school and would listen to every single game playing solitaire the whole time, or keeping score on my homemade scorecards. Before the games I always listened to “Sports Open Live” on KMOX. I even called in a few times. I was pretty obsessed with baseball. I am trying to convince M to let me display my Mike Matheny bobble-head when the basement is finished. I am thinking he won’t go for it…

2. Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!! You are a wonderful and holy woman. Thank you for your example of a beautiful life!

3. I harvested my first tomato from the garden today. I think maybe that I am not watering the plants enough, but it was pretty good anyway. I am going to wait until it is a little redder next time:

4.  Saga of the Leaky Pipe Update:  We first found the leak on June 29. This week was demolition week. A demolition team came out and spent two days riping out knotty pine paneling and the drop ceiling. The basement looked worse than ever with piles of rubble on the middle of it. I did not take a picture of it since it was painful. Today they surprised us and sent out a carpenter to do the framing for the drywall including that for our spare room (egress window to be put in at a future date). I think I am going to call it “the sewing room” in hopes that I actually sew something. And now I am going to treat you with some pictures.

The “Sewing Room” framing. One day this might have two bunk beds and teenage girls in it…      
The laundry room through the “sewing room” wall.
The family room, stairs, and door for M’s study.

5. Soon we will have to decide on wall and carpet colors. We are getting the same carpet in the study, stairs, family room, and sewing room. The question is, what style would be good for all four places and what color. I really want the basement to be a happy, cheery, warm place to be, but I want a carpet style and color that won’t look outdated in a few years. I feel like the choices are a beige color or maybe gray. Would grayish carpet be too gloomy in a basement? As for walls I really want a nice soft yellow color.

I found this palette on Pinterest.

Any thoughts on using the yellow for the walls and the gray or cream for carpet? Will this look totally outdated in a few years?

6. M’s summer night class that he has been teaching is over. I have learned a lot about my vocation having to put all three kids to bed two nights a week. I am not sure I want to go into detail right now, but I think I am closer to the kids because of it and have more confidence in my ability to care for the children at bedtime alone…

7. I feel like I need to make a big deal about our first day of home school preschool for G. I am feeling a little left out with all these “first day of school” photos on Facebook. But you see in Minnesota, I have heard it is not acceptable to start school before the end of the State Fair which ends on Labor Day. I think this is reasonable, since in Minnesota Winter is so long and Spring comes so late. It is good to give the kids a few more weeks to run around outside before they are cooped up for 6+ hours a day (another great reason to home school). If you are my Facebook friend, we are still having summer here, so look for the first day of school photos after Labor Day.

For more Quick Takes head on over to Jen’s Conversion Diary.

Waiting Week

Four years ago today I was 9+ months pregnant with G. M was on Spring Break his first year in graduate school for his PhD. G was due on March 7 and that was the first day of his break. The idea was for the baby to come at the beginning of the week and then him to have a whole week off for us to adjust to the new life of being parents. That did not happen. Four years ago today my sister went into labor and had her second child and daughter who is also my Goddaughter. We were due the same day. G decided to wait until her father’s birthday to kick me into labor. I made his birthday dinner with some friends over. The contractions got stronger and stronger and closer together as we ate dinner, had cake, and chatted. Our friends suggested playing a board game as we often did after our dinner parties. “Actually,” I said, “I am pretty sure I am in labor.” They got really excited and said they would go home. They could not wait to hear our news. M and I started practicing our Bradley relaxation techniques, called the doctor, called family and finally decided to go to the hospital around midnight. G was born 5 hours later on the Ides of March. Now she is about to be four, and is a sweet, pretty, intelligent, and pious little girl who either wants to be a princess, nun, or marry her three year old friend who she has playdates with…

Photo by bk1bennett.

This year we are waiting for the white smoke. Today it was black. I should the girls the closing of the Sistine Chapel on the live broadcast by EWTN, and am now finally an EWTN watcher. (I love when TV that is worth watching is available online since we do not have a TV.) The girls seem unable to distinguish between baseball Cardinals and Church cardinals, since after seeing the doors close, L requested to see Fredbird. At any rate we have been telling them about praying for the conclave and for the new pope. Maybe they will be able to see some live smoke streaming. This is the first time in their lives I will let them watch live television. Pope TV is probably the best that TV can be.

Here we are waiting. Maybe it will be the Ides, and that is not a bad thing for the next pope unless he picks the name Caesar I which would be just wrong… But I know of a sweet little girl born on the Ides and she is just fine.

Quicktakes, Saturday Oct. 13 Naptime Edition

1. Today we went to IKEA for the first time:
2. It was a pretty interesting place. We got some drawers for baby clothes that fit perfectly under the changing table, which will soon have shelves stocked with two sizes of cloth diapers and drawers full of tiny newborn size clothes.
3. They also have some pretty sweet bunk beds. We are planning on one for the girls once they are older. What is a safe age for a kid on the top bunk? This one is about 5 feet off the ground and has a railing. It seems fairly safe. The lower bunk is not that much higher than a toddler bed. I would be cool with it for L’s first non-crib if I thought G would be okay on top. We shall see…
4. The St. Louis Cardinals are at it again. Bernie Miklasz is still my favorite St. Louis sports writer. 
5. We are pondering the possibility of a Tigers vs. Cardinals World Series in this house. I am not sure if I could handle it this year. Probably I would go into labor during game 7 and not get to do any of my Bradley relaxing during contractions because I would be caught up in wanting to follow the game. And then my husband from MI and I would be on opposing sides.
6. G has already decided that she wants the Tigers to beat the Cardinals if this happens. I asked her, “If the Cardinals and the Tigers play against each other, who would you want to win?” Immediatley M intervened, “If the Tigers, GRRRRRR!!! and the Cardinals play each other, who would you want to win.” Her response was “TIGERS!!! GRRRRR!!!!” Then they went on to discuss how tigers can eat cardinals. I admit, tigers are cooler animals than cardinals from the perspective of a three year old.
7. Well, the kids are up from nap. Time to cook dinner…

Friday Quicktakes, Oct. 4

1. This may be the last First Friday before the baby is here. Then again we could have one more. 🙂

2. Today G went over to the calendar on the wall, counted the pages she could reach that were hanging down, came over to me using two hands to get her left hand to show three fingers and said, “There are this many pages left of the calendar.” I explained to her that that means there are three months left of the year. She responded, “Then there are no more years after that?”
“No,” I told her, “that means we will get a new calendar for next year.” She then asked for a new calendar for herself to have also. I guess we are old fashioned with our paper calendars and all, but whatever, at least we know that the end of the calendar does not mean the end of time.

3. M and I are leaning more and more towards a house with land. He told me that his dream house is a combination of the earthship houses,

Frank Lloyd Wright style (particularly the Falling Water house),

the hobbit-like house we saw on our honeymoon,

and Pemberly (as represented in the 2005 BBC Pride and Prejudice).

 You only wish your husband had the same architectural taste as mine.

4. I have 22 prepped/cooked meals in the freezer for post-baby. Many thanks to a friend from high school who also lives in Minnesota for her help last weekend getting a number of the meals finalized. It was really nice to catch up. 🙂

5. Getting ready for baby list is getting shorter. I stocked up on a lot of necessary household items so we don’t have to worry about those for a while. Last night as we were in discussing things about baby prep, we realized that we could not remember where the infant carseat was or if we had moved it to our home here from Buffalo. We were already in bed and not willing to search the basement for it. I found it first thing this morning. It “expires” 6 years from the manufacture date which is a year before we had G (Is the manufacture date visible before buying a carseat? Because I want one that is made the day before the kid is born so we can get our full six years out of it) . This baby will get 17 months to use it and then, as the manual says, we have to discard it and make it unusable for any dumpster divers out there. I can imagine a lot of fun ways to destroy an old carseat.

6. My husband shared these links on Facebook: From a Catholic Worker: An Open Letter to Paul Ryan ( and an Open Letter to Joe Biden (, the two Catholics running for VP. Both Catholic candidates for VP do not fully integrate Church teaching into their political views and actions. I know there are issues that are seen as more important when it comes to voting for a candidate (specifically in focus life issues, marriage issues), but it is important to remember that the poor do need help and the government is not letting them help themselves. Anyway, read the letters, he explains it better. And if you want to know about real conservatism and the roots of it read Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind.

7. The Cardinals are playing a one game play-off today against the Braves for the Wild Card spot in the division series. The traditionalist in me thinks we should go back to two divisions in each league and just the pennant and the series. Others I know think they should just have the series. I do not claim to be a sports expert, but I like to have an opinion to share. Also, I will root, root, root for the Cardinals no matter what the play-off arrangement.