Simplemama

Decluttering, baby-proofing, and gardening {Small Success Thursday}

This week has been a bit trying so it’s time to focus on the good, the small victories I did accomplish.

1. FINALLY cleared off all the backlog of mail, bills, coupons, and school papers and such I’ve been collecting on my desk. It feels good to see a clear-er desk again. I really hate paper clutter, it makes me crazy.

2. Vacuumed, again. Yes this is worth celebrating.

3. After 6 years and 4 babies, I finally figured out that I should probably move all our bio-hazard cleaning and bug zapping type of liquids up high – away from curious fingers. We’d had them in a locked cabinet but the lock never stays closed. I even opened up some extra cabinet space with all my rearranging. Now I can buy more gadgets…or food.

4. Also, finally came up with the idea to put all our cereal boxes in a basket on top of the fridge. Now the baby can’t get into the boxes and help himself to all the cereal he wants and dump it all over himself and the floor. Pretty soon, everything in the house will be up high, except for the toys – that would make for an interesting HGTV designer challenge.

5. Planted 2 new mums in our front garden, trimmed some bushes, and dug out a few extra things growing that really didn’t belong (a.k.a. weeds.)

6. Met up with my college roommate and enjoyed a lovely morning stroll at the zoo, it was so wonderful reconnecting and catching up! We’ve both grown up in many ways but are still the same, it’s hard to believe it’s been over 10 years ago that we first met!

It’s better to focus on our successes – even if small – than to brood and whine over our failures. 

What small successes can you focus on and give thanks for this week?

7 Quick Takes on Parenthood {the TV show}

It’s been a while since I’ve joined up with Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Quick Takes Friday. So, I’ll take this opportunity to do more “brain dumping” about my deep and profound thoughts on Parenthood…the TV show I know isn’t real but sometimes I admittedly catch myself praying for the characters…

Warning! Spoiler Alert!!

The following contains spoilers, actually, everything below is a spoiler. So, if you watch Parenthood and have not watched all the episodes, and you hate spoilers – DO NOT CONTINUE READING.

You’ve been warned.

~ 1 ~

Jasmine is alive! I was beginning to get worried about her since we’ve barely seen or heard from her this season. I imagined her stuck at home, with Jabaar and their sweet baby, Aida, (who’s skin suddenly darkened since the last season btw…) hiding out in a lonely corner in her closet, quietly suffering from post-partum depression while everyone else ran around the Parenthood set forgetting about her. I wonder if they’ll ever play her role more, I’d like to see more from her than just the occasional 5 seconds to make sure everyone remembers her.

Oh well, at least she gets more screen time than the elusive Haddi – Adam and Kristina’s other daughter you probably didn’t know they had who the show decided to bring back in and make into a lesbian/bi just to make their politically-correct agenda well-rounded.)

~ 2 ~

Crosby – wow, I feel bad for the guy. He’s gone through so much and has really transformed into a responsible father and husband. (See this Slideshow for further time-wasting evidence of the History of Crosby). Adam needs to give this guy a break…before something else breaks him and he has a worse crash. I loved the yoga scene with Oliver in this week’s show. Although, I was really hoping the old “Rip Van Wrinkle” (loved that!) guy would suddenly get up and start shouting about everything he’d been holding back on all these years. Oh well, maybe next time the writer’s will consult me before finalizing the script.

~ 3 ~

Joel and Julia – GGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! That’s how I feel about that. What the heck, Julia! Yeah, the guy shouldn’t have walked out when he thought you might have been cheating on him..with the guy that you did sort of become a little too friendly with and did sort of eat dinner with and did sort of end up meeting with him again after Joel left. As far as we know, Joel has stayed true to you, Julia, even in your strange separation. Sadly, the same can’t be said about you, little Ms. Julia. And now the guy has apologized, is making his way back into the family and being sure to stay involved in the kids lives, going out of his way to win you back and all you can do is go start another relationship with some guy who is all looks and no substance? Come on, wake up! It’s called FORGIVENESS. You should really try it. (I’m sure the real Julia Braverman will read this and respond promptly.)

~4 ~

Most Annoying Character Awards go to:

Ruby and Sydney. Wow, if my daughter (or any child) ever talked to me with that much sass and scorn, I would either cry or [want to] slap them…or maybe both. Yeah, yeah, I get it, their parents are separated, they feel like poor abandoned losers stuck in the middle of their parent’s immaturity and brokeness, but that doesn’t mean you have to go around treating them and everyone else around you like seaweed. Oh and I’ll go ahead and throw the new girl at Chambers Academy – a.k.a. jerk girl – in with these ones. Who knows, she may end up surprising me but for now I’ll keep my distance. I wonder if these girls are like this off camera too? If not, they sure do know how to act.

~5 ~

Amber – wow. I think she is definitely my new favorite this season…for now (after poor neglected Jasmine.) I don’t agree with many of Amber’s moral choices but it’s hard to fault someone with a heart that big. And, since I’ve already given enough spoiler alert warnings, I’ll go ahead and talk about the baby. I gotta say, I’ve been happily surprised with the way the writer’s have handled this whole situation. After the casual way Amy (Drew’s old gf) just “took care of things” for the sake of her “future”, I fully expected the same from Amber. But no, this time, they’ve decided to treat the baby for what he/she is – a human person! Not just a “potential human person” or a “future baby”, they’re actually referring to this baby as a present baby. (Don’t read the dumb “how to prevent unplanned pregnancy” thing on the show’s webpage if you, like me, prefer too remain blissfully ignorant about the show’s political and social agendas.)

I also think it’s interesting how they are playing up the way others have put pressure on her to think carefully before “keeping it”; yet, Amber has visibly been disturbed by the idea of “getting rid of” her own baby’s life. This speaks to the many women who end up having abortions to give into pressures from boyfriends or family instead of following their own instincts or desires.

Oh and did anyone else want to applaud after her gentle goodbye to Ryan? Ideally the father would be part of the relationship still and in his own baby’s life, however; there’s something to say about making sure one is ready to be a dad. Maybe he still will, we’ll see.

My favorite part so far in that story line was Zeke’s profound and genuine happiness when he found out. He didn’t think for one minute about judging Amber or feeling ashamed or embarrassed for her. All he could think of was the joy about to come for him – his first great-grandchild – and for his granddaughter to be a mother. Her grandpa’s immediate joy, not shameful scolding, was exactly the strength and encouragement Amber needed to continue her resolve to let her baby’s life continue.

We all – especially “pro-lifers” could learn a lot from Zeke.

~ 6 ~

Speaking of Zeke, that reminds me of Milli and her amazing display of patience with him in his post-operative mean streak. Oh the things wives have to put up with from their cranky old husbands…since we never go all crazy with our mood swings dragging our poor husbands behind us. ;) Milli confesses to Julia how this – dealing with the “in sickness and in health” is the hardest part of marriage. I’m sure she is right and I do not look forward to the day I, or my husband, find out how true that is.

~7 ~

I can’t think of anything else I wanted to comment about so I’ll mention that I really liked Kristina’s scarf. I know, I pay attention to the most important details. I like the way a simple scarf can turn a mommy-sweatpants look into a mommy-had-a-shower today look (even if she really didn’t.)

 

Alright, well now that I’ve wasted enough time avoiding the messes in my house so I could write about a TV show, I’ll go and pick up some crumbs and wipe some bottoms.

Have a great Friday and weekend!

 

Beauty in Suffering, Breastfeeding & the Eucharist, Mean Moms {A Food for Thought Round up}

Simplemama's Food for Thought Round-Up

 

Happy Saturday! I’ve finally collected enough little morsels of of thoughtful posts to put together a decent meal for Food for Thought Saturday. It’s a little bit of this and that so feel free to nibble on just a few or gobble up the whole tray. En-JOY your weekend!

Dear Brittany: Why We Don’t Have To Be So Afraid of Dying & Suffering that We Choose Suicide - Wow, this is amazing. A truly compassionate and empathetic response to those who choose or advocate for “mercy killing” for those who are terminally ill and suffering.

Breastfeeding and the Eucharist - A beautiful analogy comparing breastfeeding and the Eucharist but it can really apply to all motherhood.

Compassion vs Personal Safety? - I think about this a lot, how can we help others with compassion even when doing so poses a serious risk to ourselves or our family?

The next time I am faced with terrible news in the suffering of another person and the choice to back away or to approach, I hope I will, no matter the cost, remember that to live fully is to risk everything on our highest honor. I do not need to play a fool to act heroically.  True heroes can be both wise as well as wonderful.

The Ultimate List of 100 Non-Toy Gift Ideas - Great ideas if you are reading this from the under the mountain of toys that have taken over your house.

12 ways to be the meanest mom in the world -  I need to try and be a meaner mom…for my kids’ own good.

The Grace of Distraction - so glad I’m not the only who struggles with distracted prayer. Even this religious sister does but she’s found a way to use the distraction for God’s Good work.

And lastly, a little something on the heavier side of thinking:

Revisiting the Argument from Motion -

I always appreciate Fr. Baron’s deep – yet understandable – insights into God and our Faith.

I sometimes wonder if atheists really do believe in the existence of God, from a logical standpoint at least, but they are turned off by all the “earthly” or human explanations and expressions of who people say God is and how we are required/allowed to worship Him or live our lives. In some ways, I do not fault them for being turned off by all of that.

I think especially of those who are nature-lovers but who do not belong to any particular religion or commit to any particular belief system. In a way, they know God in His most deepest sense, his unlimited natural self. It’s the physical constructs and human limitations we put to God, the boxes we put Him in, that they are not attracted to. They see only our outsides, but have yet to go beyond the walls, plunge deep past the surface, and see what really lays beneath.

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