I often get emails from my fan asking if I’ve entered Witness Protection or if I’ve been abducted again by space aliens who study the strange and fascinating creature known as ‘woman’.* This happens when I’ve gone off the grid for some time due to factors often “out of my control,” like forgetting to pay the Cox bill, thus losing Internet service, or sheer laziness.**
However, my latest blogging hiatus does come with some legitimate excuses. It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I couldn’t even remember how to get on to my Word Press account. You might say that’s ridiculous, but when you’ve been living the chaotic insanity of my life these past few weeks, it makes some sense. My brain is so overloaded that I’ve even stopped being able to lend it to the preoccupation I’ve had for several months with my belly fat and the wrinkles that arrived for the first time this year. Hooray!
For starters, the school year began, which for a homeschooling mom means things go from crazy to radical, light-speed, I-need-medication nuts. And this year, we started a new co-op that meets three out of four Mondays a month and is the foundation for the rest of our weekly curriculum.
It even includes daily Mass afterwards, which is an exciting opportunity for me to chase my 2-year-old, who keeps explaining that she wants to “meet” me at the altar, around the church with baby in the sling while watching the two boys out of the corner of my eye to make sure fingers are staying out of noses… their own and one another’s.
The last attempt left me so exhausted and forlorn that I vowed I would only return by myself with all four kids if Pope Francis himself celebrated, and even then I’m thinking he’d have to offer to hold the toddler for part of the Mass.
So, in regard to the co-op, I was also assigned the role of blogger, which means that any “free” time I pretend to have outside planning, working, cleaning house, and occasionally sleeping, goes to developing content for our co-op blog (no, you can’t read it — it’s a high-security private blog to which only Schola Rosa families, Jesus, and probably some government watch group have access).
In the midst of these ongoing commitments, our sewer line succumb to tree roots… again. This, the day after our car battery went kaput. This, the week after we had to shell out almost a grand for a new air conditioning compressor in our mini-van. Our only two working computers both died within two weeks, so my attempt to meet one of my writing deadlines became a fight with technology gremlins.
Gremlins 4, Becky 0.
And I jinxed myself by bragging about how well my baby was sleeping at 3 months, so he has resorted to nocturnal behavior for the past two months, spending two solid hours in the middle of the night squawking, gnawing on his fist (first tooth just cut through last week), and practicing his Pilates — a combination of pushing up into the crawl position, sitting back on his butt, balancing in the seated position, and then toppling over into the side of the co-sleeper so he can scream at the top of his lungs. A good time is being had by all. I miss sleep.
On top of all that, we’re preparing to host the biggest marriage conference on the planet — seriously, it might be the biggest in the entire galaxy, according to those aliens – I’m just saying. And since only a handful of couples we know are actually attending, there’s a chance we might be able to convince the people in the audience that we were the right choice as emcees. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but we’ve secretly planted a select few couples who will laugh, nod, and look genuinely interested every time we’re up at the podium. Just follow their lead, k?
We’ve had lots of other talks to prepare and deliver, my husband started a new job last month and recorded a television segment, the boys are in PE on Tuesdays, Blue Knights every other Friday, Catechesis on Thursday afternoons, and this year we put them in soccer with several of their buddies… because giving small boys a ball to kick in random directions is everyone’s idea of safe play.
Steve is also coaching, which just adds one more item to our to-do list.
But as it turns out, it’s a super cool setup. We have eight families that all know and like each other practicing on two teams together under the coaching trinity of three Catholic dads. In their first games, both teams won, and I managed not to capture on video a single goal my sons scored in their entire game. I got them running down the field toward the net, mind you, but in some bizarre scenario that violates all mathematical probability, I couldn’t hang onto the shot when the ball went into the goal.
Fear not! I did get some great footage of the top of our stroller and pick up the audio of some conversation between me and two of my friends about the marriage conference when I set the camera down with the record button activated. Yeah, I know, I’m pretty awesome. Hey, I never said I was a videographer… oh wait, I used to be a videographer. Never mind. Just know that I was holding a baby in one arm and feeding grapes to a bunch of little girls who were swarming around me while shooting, so Blair Witch Project footage was about as good as we were going to get.
And if all that hasn’t been enough to threaten spontaneous combustion of my brain, the new computer I wound up having to buy is equipped with Windows 8 – a platform I’m convinced was invented by Satan – and we’ve been potty training our daughter. Both can be navigational nightmares.
But I’m happy to announce that our little girl is officially wearing underpants now. She had spent a good part of this year taking interest in the potty and going back and forth between enthusiastically wanting to use it and screaming at me if I dared suggest she sit on it. We moved from diapers to pull-ups because she was putting up such a fight when I tried to change her that I thought it might be easier to slip on something as opposed to attach it with Velcro while lying across her to hold her down.
This led to our use of the star chart. Every time she used the potty, she got a star. We don’t believe in rewarding with candy or food every time she pees or poops because, well, I’m philosophically opposed to using food as bribes unless it’s for me.
Anyway, I made enough squares to help develop the habit but not so many that we couldn’t reach the goal in a few weeks time. She knew she was working toward getting to go on a special shopping date with Mommy to pick out her own underpants and then get a smoothie and play at an indoor playground, the latter of which wound up being combined with a post-soccer celebration for big brothers too.
We finally got to go on our shopping date this past Friday night.
Shopping wore her out. I, being on top of things for once, managed to think ahead on this and have her already dressed in her PJs.
The next day, she was excited to learn that I had washed her new underpants and they were ready for wearing. She’s stayed dry all weekend. Here’s to a good start!
So, all that to say, life is good, and I will post later with some updates on what we’ve been doing with school so far. I’m also working on some posts that get feisty, just in case you were missing those.
*Fabrication. I’ve never had any emails from anyone named Fan.
** I’m not that irresponsible. Our Cox bill is automatically deducted every month, but that doesn’t mean they always provide Internet service.
- Don’t miss our radio interview on marriage!
- 7 Quick Take Friday — Fashionably Late Again