7QT: When life gives you salad spinners…


I never really got Pinterest. Wedding planning was a chore (putting it nicely) for me and my younger sister got the fashion gene that allows her to take inspiration from fashion boards and look put together all the time.

But then I discovered the world of Montessori baby activities.

A lot of them give me a little bit of Pinterest Inferiority Complex (but even I want to do this geography lesson) and/or “I don’t want to vacuum all that rice” thoughts and I’m not sure about the theory behind some of the projects (“Kitchen Treasure Basket” – I just let my baby raid the cabinets and we come out even), but man, somehow an upswing of energy this week met “sensory play activities” and I’ve been buzzing with ideas and pinning, pinning, pinning crafts that most likely will never come to fruition. That afternoon, I gave Christopher a bunch of cotton balls to play with and take in and out of a toilet paper roll that I stapled at one end. #craftsuperstar

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 10.34.42 AM

I got the idea for a discovery bottle for Mass using rice, an empty chili powder container we had lying around, and some of the saint medals we have already collected in our mere four months as Catholics and I think it turned out OK, even if Christopher just uses it as a rattle instead of ~discovering~ all of the little trinkets I hid inside of it. I’ll might make a post about it next week so I can deceive Pinterest as to my crafting abilities. Or not.


An upside of this whole “tot school” browsing thing is discovering all the hoarded stuff we have in the apartment can be used for gross motor development or whatever! Behold, when life gives you salad spinners…

…make baby toys.


On the Lenten front, I had an “eh” week. I’m remembering why I chose the penances I did and how much happier I am when I stick to the no-social-media-when-Christopher-is-awake rule. It’s been really fun to play with him and see how much he’s changed in the little interactions we have throughout the day. I also did a whole mountain of laundry today. But it’s still hard to stick with it in the moment. The TV fast has been way easier than I expected, although I’m pretty excited to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt come Easter.

I went to Confession last Friday. I’m still new at Confession since we only entered the Church in October and I still get very nervous before going even though each time it has been so worth it. There is no better feeling than God’s forgiveness and it still amazes me how the sacrament communicates that grace in a very real and tangible way. I’m very good at feeling vaguely guilty about sins I’m sure I’ve committed but don’t really want to look in the face, even if it brings forgiveness. Speaking my sins aloud, bringing them into the light by naming them specifically, and then hearing the priest say the words of absolution make God’s forgiveness very present and real. It’s overwhelming. I often think of Eustace’s unfortunate turn as the dragon in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Aslan’s remedy when it comes to Confession:eustace-as-dragon

“Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke — You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place.  It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .”


Chris has two weeks of Spring Break (*Kitty from Arrested Development voice* WOOOOO) and we’ve been living it up. We went to go visit his parents for a night in rural Connecticut. They literally live in Gilmore Girls/Tocqueville country. It’s what New England looks like on postcards. I’m also still amazed at how varied Connecticut is. There’s NYC-suburban-ritzy Connecticut, horse country Connecticut, shoreline Connecticut. We live in scary/Ivy League Connecticut.


I am coveting this print of sentence diagrams of famous opening lines from notable novels. I could probably capitalize on this crafting frenzy and just make my own and avoid any Humbert Humbert adorning my walls. I was thinking of a triptych for above Christopher’s changing table of the “hearts are restless” quotation from Confessions with the Fra Angelico “Conversion of St. Augustine” and a diagram of the quotation. It was relevant to the current chapters we are going over in my grammar class since it is a compound-complex sentence, so I had my students do it for a warm-up on Monday. This was the answer:

I think it’s a pretty diagram. (Nerd alert.)


While looking at birthday gifts that I can’t afford on Amazon for Christopher, I found this little number:

which is sure to haunt your dreams tonight. YOU’RE SO WELCOME. This is a costume for a grown man. It looks like it’s mostly used for productions of Peter Pan, but I like to think it has aided many ill-thought-out dad pranks that come up in therapy sessions down the road.


I’ve watched this clip from SNL so many times and I laugh every. single. time.

Go check out more quick takes over at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

One thought on “7QT: When life gives you salad spinners…

  1. You got me with your title–that is great, and super creative in practice too! I love #3 as well. People are always surprised when I include Confession as things I like about our faith, but it’s true (though of course more after than before). 🙂

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