7 Quick Takes (v. 64)

1.  I have been reading Parenting with Grace:  The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids by Gregory and Lisa Popcak.  And it has really been blowing my mind.  Yes, a lot of the parenting information is really good.  But there has been so much information that has resonated with me beyond the parenting aspects.  I think I especially love the passage that compares Catholic theology to quantum physics in that both make seemingly bizarre statements about the universe that can rarely be proven by direct observation but have been developed by logically building upon known truths.

2.  Several months ago I read a blog post somewhere about how instead of teaching our children values we should be teaching them virtues.  (Values can be very subjective, but Christian virtues are moral absolutes.)  This is reinforced in Parenting with Grace, where they offer several tips for virtue-based training of children.  While I plan to put together my own “virtue posters”, I decided to print out this image someone else put together and stick it on the refrigerator:

It took about two minutes for my oldest (age 9) to take a foam ball and use it for target practice!!  But I did enjoy hearing her say that she was aiming for the “Grace of God”.

3.  Last Sunday we decided to take all of the girls swimming at our park district’s aquatics center.  The older three have been taking lessons there and just wanted to have some fun time to swim.  I didn’t realize until we got there, though, that the outdoor water park had just opened for the summer.  So, instead of breezing into the indoor pool via the fitness center, we had to wait in a 30-minute line in the blaring sun to enter through the water park.  When we finally made it to the indoor pool, I couldn’t wait to dunk myself in the cool water.  We all had a blast, and we’ll probably try to go a few more times before the end of the summer.

4.  My husband got called up for jury duty this coming week.  This really wouldn’t be a big issue if I hadn’t scheduled a zillion appointments through June thinking that I would have total access to our only vehicle.  I can use my mother-in-law’s car for a few things, but I really have to decide what I am going to do about the eye exams I have set up for the two older girls on Thursday.  I keep hoping that his civic duty will be over quickly, so that I won’t have to cancel those appointments.

5.  I have stopped asking my kids if they want me to pick them up certain books from the library.  They will inevitably turn up their noses at anything I suggest and say no.  (Don’t even get me started on the reasons why I stopped taking them to the library to pick out their own books.)  Now, I just grab stuff for them without discussion.  I certainly don’t force them to read what I’ve brought home, but I’ve learned that if I just get the books into the house then sometimes they get desperate enough to actually pick them up and look into them.  Sometimes they actually read them.  And sometimes I suspect that they might actually like them.  But I don’t really expect them to admit that to me.

6.  For about a week the temperature was in the 90’s here in Illinois, which means it is time to complain about our crappy air conditioning and lack of duct work in this house yet again.  Since today is payday, I’ll soon be scheduling a routine A/C check-up with the only company in town that understands our weirdo HVAC system, so that we can maybe keep our house at 90 degrees inside and less humid when the temperatures get closer to 100 degrees outside.  We also need to invest in a few more floor/table fans and see if we can teach the toddler to stop sticking things inside them (like puzzle pieces and small spoons).  But two days ago the bi-polar Illinois weather dropped back down to the 50’s, so I’m enjoying the reprieve from the heat.

7.  Last Sunday I kicked transitioned my four-year-old out of the family bed.  She has had her own bed waiting for her in the other room with her big sisters since March.  As expected it’s been a rough week, since she normally wakes up about four times between midnight and 6 am.  At least she hasn’t been crying, and she normally drifts back off to sleep as soon as I tuck her back in her bed.  I’ve just been trying to be patient and hoping that I can get her conditioned to sleep until at least sunrise.  And while I am enjoying having more space to spread my expanding body (and I will of course need the space for the new baby to have place to sleep), I do kind of miss those snuggly moments in the bed with her just as much as I know she does.  That’s the main reason why I’ve been letting her back into my bed after sunrise.  That, and the whole, trying to actually get a few hours of sleep before everyone else wakes up.

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