7 top clicks / 11

SO MUCH good stuff this week. And only two of the seven below are Fifty Shades related. You're welcome. 

Stay clicky, my friends!

1 /
If this movie is coming to your town on St. Valentine's Day, go see it (because it sure beats seeing a movie about sexual abuse, ehh?).   (Life Site News)

2 /
I shall eat Honey Nut Cheerios again in this lifetime. (WSJ)

3 / 
Fifty Shades began as Twilight fan fiction. Well. It takes one (brooding vampire) to know one (sadistic businessman), eh? (Life Site News)

4 /
This just in: Raymond Arroyo apologizes for false story about being hit by cannonball during the Battle of Lepanto :) (Eye of the Tiber)

5 /
"Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power." (Patheos)

6 /
Okay, Hozier, I'll take you to Church:

"Christian children are being crucified and buried alive by people who compare us to dogs, like you do. You say “Take Me to Church” but I wouldn’t want you to take you to their churches, because people really are sharpening their knives there, with my people as their targets."

Tom Hoopes. Boom. (CatholicVote)

7 / 
Jenny writes about the persecution that's coming (nay, already here) for those of us that will chose to defend marriage.
It comes down to three little words (as it nearly always does): Be not afraid.  (Mama Needs Coffee)

Linking up with Kelly.


baby gear that's still useful years later

I live in a small house that's short on storage space. (Hashtag: first world problems.) And since getting married, I've moved four times. (Hashtag: U-haul adores me.)

Purging unnecessary stuff comes as second nature by now--as does striving to make sure everything I've moved from house to house has value and purpose, or possibly duel purpose. Here are my all-star purchases that have survived each move, AND gotten more useful with time. 

Baby bath with pedestal - It's just a humble little bathtub, I know. But three years ago, that bottom pedestal became Joseph's step stool for potty training and washing his hands.

Why it's still useful: Since it's so wide, both boys can stand on the pedestal together to brush their teeth at night, or wash their hands before dinner. 

Activity gym - Everyone already has one of these, but we've used it for a lot more than just infant tummy time. 

Why it's still useful: Drape a blanket over those crossed bars and you've got a perfect tent for toddlers (or for little boys on the small end of the growth charts). This is especially valuable to families like mine that have mothers who do. not. camp. and therefore do not have real tents. 

Used Halloween costumes - Every year since she became a grandmother, my mom has hit up her local Once Upon a Child in July or August to start scouting out the best of the used Halloween costumes for the kids. Of all the good stuff those stores carry (and there's quite a lot), I'd say Halloween costumes are the tip-top of the "barely used/basically new" list.

Why they're still useful: Playtime is that much more interesting when you're wearing a dog/dragon/giraffe suit, right? Sometimes the boys won't wear them for a month, but sometimes they're all they wear for a week straight. 

Changing table - Traditional changing tables get a lot of hate from the "we just use a low dresser instead" crowd. But I see a changing table as essentially the same thing as a dresser, except you don't need to pull open a drawer to get at your wipes. 

Why it's still useful: Our lightweight (key word!) changing table works as a toy organizer/storage in various rooms (in various abodes). Granted, it's now being used for its original purpose, but when Gussie's bigger, I'm sure that we'll once again move it (without wrenching our backs) to another room and fill its baskets with Legos instead of diapers.

Or heck, maybe not Legos, but My Little Pony things. Or doll clothes. Ahh... 

Baby books - Do moms still keep and update baby books? My mom filled our baby books to the brim with weight and height charts, vaccine records and sickness notes, plus pages and pages of hand-written anecdotes about our childhoods. 

I'm keeping books for our three, though I know that I'm not nearly as good as she was about writing down so many precious memories. 

Why it's still useful: Even if I can't write down everything I intend to, the books do provide a great space for stashing those little tidbits that will be treasures later on: the ticket stub to Amby's first baseball game; a brochure from Joseph's dream visit to the Sacramento Railroad Museum; cards from grandparents and godparents for birthdays and baptism. If I didn't have the books, I know I'd haphazardly stash that stuff in nooks and crannies and lose track of it all. 

What's the best stuff in your house that serves a duel purpose? 

Linking up with Jenna


7 top clicks / 10

1 /
Be careful when/if shopping at Target. You might just run into their "adult health" section, which shelves their 50 Shades of Grey themed sex toys. Yowzas. Ugh. (CNN Money)

2 /
Before they changed their name and became a medical clinic, this pregnancy resource center saved 100 babies a year.

Now? Real Options Pregnancy Medical Clinic saves 700+ lives each year. Amazing. (Life Site News)

3 / 
My hero (aka Abby Johnson) wrote an epic takedown of Planned Parenthood's hiring practices. For instance: Are you a single mother, desperate to put food on the table? Or so in need of a job, you'll compromise your values? Perfect. You're hired.  (National Review)

4 / 
The American Papist gives us a sign of hope for our Church: The Under-35 Priest. He's not going to kick out your current heterodox, aging pastor... he's just going to outlive him.  (CatholicVote)

5 / 
How simple and beautiful is Sheena's wall collage with her homemade "take and eat" art? Talented (and crafty), that girl. (Bean in Love)

6 /
My favorite salad at the moment: Cold Peanut Noodles. Add 1 tablespoon extra brown sugar to the sauce; top with diced chicken. (food.com)

7 / 
I've tried to take the advice of allowing "4 minutes in the nude" in the morning to let my lotion soak in and all that, thinking that it might be something rather beneficial for my skin.

Thus far it's been about 45 seconds in the nude before someone shouts "MAAAAAAH-MEEEEE! He stole my Rescue Bot!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And by then, I better damn well be dressed. (Modern Mrs. Darcy)

Linking up with Kelly.


what my third baby taught me about motherhood

That's my girl.

My mom flew back to California today after spending a week in town, and I just ended a call with her with the line, "Sorry, I have to go wipe someone's bottom." And at this point in life, "someone" could be one of three people--someone sitting on the pot, or someone who is thisclose to potty training but still does business in his pants, or someone who has thick yellow goodness seeping out of her diaper and will somehow (without fail!) get it on her socks, too.

Three bottoms to manage, but I don't feel like I'm in "survival mode." The thing that's keeping me from going down that sink hole is something Gussie has taught me about my life--something that I should have known earlier, but didn't realize until this year.

I'm an adult.

And I'm The Mom.

So stop worrying about everything.

On the surface, that sounds stupid. I'm five years into motherhood, six years into my marriage and 31 years into life--I should have a grip on what's important to worry about, and what's not. But it took me until baby number three to look at myself as more than just a married, breeding version of my college self; that I've learned a lot about my job as a mom to these little kids--and that I'm pretty damn capable of handling this whole mothering jig.

But I'm slow to grasp the obvious. I blame years of fluctuating hormones. Or something like that.

Being pregnant with Gus hit me hard. I felt slow and lethargic, emotionally drained. Not only did I not look like the girl I was 10 years earlier, I didn't feel like her either. I didn't know who I was now, heavy with child and lumbering after my two other babies.

It took time and lots of conversations with the people who know me best to realize that this third baby wasn't a reason to feel less of who I am, though--she was a reason to feel more like it. They say that now's no time to lose your sense of humor. Nor is it a time to lose touch with who you are.

I used to wonder what my pediatrician thought of me--if I was a good mom, if I looked overwhelmed, if I looked like like I was doing this motherhood thing perfectly.

Three babies in, and I don't wonder that anymore. I'm doing it the best way I know how. Because I'm The Mom. I'm their mom.

I used to worry that the concerns I brought to my spouse were insignificant, under-researched or petty.

I don't wonder that anymore. Because I'm an adult, and what I think (especially in my marriage) matters.

I used to worry what people thought about my house, if it was good enough, if it impressed people, or if it seemed to them a hovel.

I don't worry about that anymore, because I'm an adult, and God's given me this shelter. And I'm grateful for it.

I used to wonder if I spend enough time playing pretend with my boys.

I don't wonder that anymore. Because I'm writing this post with a stuffed tiger balanced on my head.


If I find myself worrying about something anymore, I run the worry through this two-part test: Is it what an adult would worry about? Is it what a mom would worry about?

The answer needs to be yes to both in order for me to continue worrying. If the answer is no, then I certainly don't have time to worry about it. After all, one of my kids probably needs their bottom wiped.