— 1 —
I’m really incredibly bad at this blogging thing. And it’s not for lack of time. Well, I don’t think it is, anyway. No one has any time and yet plenty of others write blogs and books and I’m over here writing epic Facebook comments. I think it’s a lack of self-discipline, the inability to force myself to sit and write in one tab for more than five minutes. Or just a matter of preferring to comment on what others say, or Like or RT or whatever instead of actually developing my own train of thought. Fail.
— 2 —
Did anyone else find it odd that there was such a big gap between Thanksgiving and Advent this year? I actually was so cognizant of the gap (i.e., was so busy judging the people chopping down Christmas trees a week before Advent began) that I had myself convinced Advent wasn’t imminent…until it was.
Then I woke up on December 2nd and realized that we still had Indian corn on our front door, pumpkins by our front and back doors, no Advent candles, and nary a Christmas/Advent decoration in sight. All my Advent prep had apparently taken place on Pinterest, not in my real life in my real house.
So within about an hour, probably less, I found some toddler-friendly Jesse tree reflections, free printable Jesse tree ornaments (the 18-month-old can color them and feel involved! yay!), and freehand cut out a tree shape from some green wrapping paper. Didn’t turn out too shabby, and apparently one-year-olds don’t judge. Everyone wins, even slacker Mommy!
— 3 —
I have had some great finds on the toddler Catholic Christmas gift front this year. First, there were these sturdy, laminated, awesome “My Heavenly Friends” holy cards from Aquinas & More. Then the set of all four Brother Francis DVDs from Catholic Vision Video for $39.99 total. And then my random browsing at Catholic Supply yielded this gem of a find: Maite Roche’s My First Pictures of Christmas, a lovely little board book put out by Ignatius Press/Magnificat.
I was a little surprised and a LOT excited when I turned to the “Jesus” page and saw this. Look at that cradle hold with Mary helping the infant Christ to achieve a good latch (hey, even he probably needed some help)! The rest of the book also shows a pretty “attached” Mother of God…even the page that says “…and laid Him in a manger” shows the manger empty and Mary snuggling Jesus close in her arms. Love it.
More than just lactivist me getting a little giddy, I think images like these are important for children to grasp the reality of the Incarnation. As a parent of a nursing toddler I think this picture will help my kiddo understand even a wee bit more that Jesus was a real person, once a baby just like her, who nursed and was cuddled by his mommy. There are also so many more theological layers to unpack here that a board book illustration probably doesn’t seem to warrant…but that the Son of God suckled at a human mother’s breast and required her for comfort (not to mention diaper changes!) is really the amazing truth of the Incarnation in a nutshell.
— 4 —
In the past couple of weeks I have found myself taking care of two toddler girls, technically ages 1 (mine) and 2 (my friend‘s), but who are really only six months apart. Catfights and fisticuffs have ensued, but I think we have avoided lifelong trauma and serious injury thus far. Thank God and guardian angels.
It’s not the two-year-old starting most of it, either. It’s my feisty one-year-old who has palpable flashes of rage when she sees me giving her toys to another person, however much a friend. I think my daughter is not at a good age for jealousy right now, which sounds awful. I know, I know, the whole theory is that only children are selfish/jealous of others who take Mommy’s attention only because they are only children, and if they had a sibling they wouldn’t be jealous. I frankly think such counterfactuals are useless and prefer to side with, erm, child development, when I say that it is probably a good thing we didn’t have baby #2 around this stage. (No need to argue with me about it or suggest it would’ve been fine or assume you know our family-expanding intentions based on this comment, BTWs, just saying that it’s probably for the best it has worked out this way.)
— 5 —
I’m so excited to see that my midwife’s hard work is bearing fruit and her birth center is about to open. Back when we were expecting R, she was working to get it open, but state regulations kept standing in the way. Read the story to learn more about the whole process. I am just so excited to have more options for mothers and babies here in our area. Jessica is an amazing midwife with such a strong, faithful, quiet presence, and I’m so glad to see her hard work paying off!
— 6 —
Have you heard? Pope Benedict XVI is now on Twitter! He will begin tweeting, by answering questions sent to his account (@Pontifex) with the hashtag #askpontifex. I asked the Holy Father a question–have you? If you have, share your question in the comments!
— 7 —
In a somewhat surreal turn of events following that tweet, I was contacted and interviewed by a religion reporter for USA Today. She’s running a story on the whole #askpontifex thing next week sometime. I guess we’ll see how it turns out! I’ll link here if I see it posted.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!