Book club news, Conference news, and advice needed

I began writing this Friday.  It’s Monday.  Almost Tuesday, actually.  I had a birthday to celebrate over the weekend and boy was it awesome.  Will you forgive the haphazard nature of this post and just leave me a nice comment below? You’re the best.

1. Book club news!

10904429_10152941701593672_7350233321030405844_oRemember the Stella Maris Book Club?  That awesome online book club I conceived of a few months ago?  Sigh.  Me too.  Those were the days.

No, I jest.  The club is mostly going on in the Stella Maris Facebook group because that seems to be the easiest way to contact people and chat.  But the result is that sometimes I forget that not all of you are on Facebook (Ahem, Abby) so maybe you didn’t know that we selected a new book to read.  (Okay, fine *I* went all dictatorial and chose the book myself.)

The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge is our new book.  We’ll be finishing it in time to have the discussion the week before Lent so that we can begin a new book for Lent.  I’m sorry if the late notice gives you less time for reading!  But I hope you’ll join anyway.  I downloaded mine to my Kindle app, so that’s an option if you want to start right away.

I’m a couple chapters 30% in and I’m enjoying it.  There’s a whole lot of setting up for the plot, which is interesting but can be a little bit of a turnoff for those of us with little time to read.  I’m past it, though, I think, so now it’s getting juicier.

2. Speaking of books!

Jessica of Housewifespice is going to resume her What We’re Reading Wednesday link-up in February.  Maybe I’ll get back to reading more finally.  I’ve been pretty lazy lately.  Anyone else feel like Facebook is the worst time suck of all… time?

BTdubya, if you don’t already know Jessica, you really ought to go peruse her blog.  She has the BEST book reviews/recommendations for kids of all ages.  If I had more time and energy, I might try to make a whole curriculum based on the books she loves.

3. CWBN // CA Conference

10940570_10152961533243672_358198840510272741_nOnce upon a couple weeks ago, there was some talk in a blogging group about which conferences were the best and worth the money and time, etc.  And so then, being the perennial extrovert and wanting to meet all the friends, I harassed a few people and now we’re planning a bloggers conference.  Want to come?  Join the Facebook group.  (Yes, I know I have a problem with Facebook groups.)

And now I am getting really really excited, because not only is this going to be a place for camaraderie, a glass of wine, and hopefully Mass, but it’s going to have actual awesome talks by actual human women with talents and gifts.  Stay tuned for very exciting announcements coming up in the next few weeks.


4. Postpartum yucks

All you manly men, please feel free to skip this mind melt of a paragraph.

LADIES!  How do you mentally make it through postpartum body?  I am in the thick of the “not losing any more weight quickly and still look 5 months pregnant so my self-esteem is in the dumps” phase.  When even jeans don’t look good acceptable?  Mama ain’t happy.  I mean, I am very very happy with all my blessings, but I’m also feeling like a big blob of blobbiness.  Help!

Please answer the following questions:

1. How did you finally shake that baby weight off?

2. How did you deal with your emotions about your body while you were waiting for the weight to come off?

3. Can you recommend a miracle cure?  (This one is a joke.  Kind of?)

5. Homeschool chat

I am a chronic overplanner/underexecutor.  For the last 4 years of homeschooling, I’ve pieced together our curriculum.  I love doing it, but a) it’s very time consuming and b) I honestly think I expect too much of my kids.  This sets up a dynamic que no me gusta.

So I’m researching other options.  I was going to go with Catholic Heritage Curricula, but after a consultation with my handsome principal (hubba hubba) over funding, it was decided that we should look into options that our charter school will pay for:  i.e., non-sectarian curriculum.

Do you have experience with any of the following?

Book Shark (Secular “living books” curriculum.  Basically the non-sectarian version of Sonlight.  If you know anything about Sonlight, that would also be helpful.)

Oak Meadow (Waldorf-y.  This is really only an option for Gianna as the younger grades are far too parent-intensive for families with a bunch of littles like we have.  Still, I do like the 4th grade curriculum samples a lot.)

Moving Beyond the Page (Honestly, even though this was previously our front runner, I’m not really feeling it after looking at the literature/non-fiction books that are the spine.  It just doesn’t seem very interesting, but maybe you have a different experience?  I did order the ages 4-5 curriculum for Gabriel to finish out this year, though.  That looks nice.)

Any others I should know about?

Share your thoughts below!

6. Using airline miles is the most ridiculous thing ever

Uuuuuuuugh.  Kevin and I are trying to use the many thousands of airline miles we have to fly back to South Carolina for the Edel Gathering/a visit to Kevin’s cousin this summer.


That is all.

7.  I’m late.  It’s tired.  (Seriously?  I just said that?)

That was not even an attempt to be funny.  But it is proof that this thing needs to wind down.  Nighty-night, ladies and gents! Visit Kelly the Funniest Blogger on the Block when you can!


P.S. I did not win a Sheenazing Award, but I’m grateful to whomever nominated me, and so thankful to Bonnie for putting on such a fun competition.


  1. I am 4.5 months out and am just starting to feel like my self again. I am still about 20 pounds away from pre pregnancy weight but my shape is sort of more me…u know? I bought new clothes that looked nice and fit. I didn’t spend a tonne of money but it made a big difference and made me not mind leaving the house with my kids 🙂 I hate things that don’t fit right and i HATE wearing maternity clothes when not pregnant…with a passion…like I really hate it…lol. Also pedicures if you can swing it. 🙂

  2. Abdominal binders? It helped my self esteem. In the end I had surgery to fix my hernia and diastasis… Kind of a long term solution, though, as I felt (feel?) uglier for quite a while after that one. I really liked the belly workouts on fit2be… Lots of strengthening your transverse abs. And I don’t know if it’s the same in CA but here where it’s cold in the winter we just give ourselves grace until spring.

  3. Baby weight-argh! Nursing does not melt off the weight for me – my body likes to horde all that weight while I breastfeed and just increases my appetite instead. I’m the type that can add some weight while nursing alas! The only thing that helps rein in the gain and manage a gradual loss is exercise – I walk when I can. I was doing really well with this (a mile+ every day with the littles in the double stroller while everyone else was at school) until Nov hit with viciously cold weather. I’m hoping to return to the walking once the weather eases up. If you discover a miracle cure, please share it!

    • Also, for clothes I try not to wear the maternity ones after the first few weeks postpartum. I go to a consignment store and find some new to me clothes (maybe in a bigger size) that fit. The newness of the clothes gives me a boost, they’re comfortable, and it’s not expensive (I usually gets shirts for less than $1 and pants under $5.) It’s better than trying to squeeze into your regular clothes and getting depressed.

  4. #2–I’m so excited that WWRW is coming back too!

    #4–Postpartum weight loss (or lack of it)–the blahest of the blahs. Let me know the miracle cure. 🙂 I have collected clothes of various sizes over the years, which sort of helps, but it is depressing. Working on hair, makeup, nails, can kind of offset the blahs.

    #5–Since y’all have used Mater Amabilis, I don’t think you’d like CHC. We used it for one year (4th gr, 1st, & PreK). It’s workbooks, and the literature/history is more drab than other programs. I really like Sonlight, though, and I was thrilled to find out recently that BookShark now exists–Sonlight without all the Protestant materials, which we usually substituted anyway. Sonlight/BookShark would allow you to combine all your kids for lit & history. They use historical fiction/Newberry award winners primarily, rather than the old classics you’d get in a pure Charlotte Mason program. But we’ve generally loved their books.
    We have found the Sonlight language arts program (writing assignments & worksheets, etc) cumbersome and have not used it very much. Sometimes Sonlight seems like too much overall. It’s expensive and you get a lot of information and discussion questions in the lesson plans that I just don’t find necessary. Also, a struggling reader is going to need a better phonics program than Sonlight offers. We mainly just read their books and then do narration/copywork/dictation (for which we don’t need a curriculum) on the books we like.
    Catherine recently posted…Learning Notes for Week of January 19My Profile

  5. Okay you know my general solution for post partum awkwardness is just to wear dresses… But here’s what else I do to feel a little better:

    1. Hide the scale. Get rid of it. There’s no point in weighing yourself because it just gets depressing if that number isn’t going down fast enough.

    2. Take your measurements right NOW and find a few items of clothing that actually fit (this is why I have so much stuff from Twice, because they actually have accurate measurements! And also because ain’t no way I’m leaving the house to shop…).

    3. Um, I try never to look at the skin on my stomach because it’s a saggy depressing mess… So tank tops always, and those undercover mama tanks are awesome once you’re actually wearing bras again (I’m not the only one who lives in nursing tanks the first few months, right?).

    9 months on, 9 months off! Your body is using that extra weight to make milk to nourish your baby, and if you lose the weight too quickly all the toxins stored up in any fat will get released and armageddon will occur (or something? I might be making this all up but I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere and it’s a good excuse for an extra serving of ice cream!).
    Rosie recently posted…What I Wore Sunday: Nose-picking PhotobombMy Profile

  6. Postpartum body blues are true for all of us–even little ol’ me. This time I did like another commenter and bought some (ok, a bunch) new-to-me clothes through ThredUp that were looser in the middle, bigger overall, and trendyish. It helped SO MUCH. Also, when I feel blah, just add a flat iron and some make-up. My “routine” only takes 5-10 mins and maybe only I know I’ve done it, but it helps tremendously–especially since I don’t ever look in the mirror after my initial getting ready. Also, the girdle. The girdle helps.

    And THANK YOU! Holy wow, Book Shark looks awesome!!! I definitely plan to give that some real consideration–especially for science and history! The American History section for 3rd/4th looks like just what I’m looking for. Think I might even get it rightthisverymoment.

  7. Abby Soejoto says:

    Thanks for the Stella update. Arggggh! Facebook! But I’ve got the book downloaded and ready to read… If I could just quit falling asleep in bed!

    Baby weight is the pits. This time around when I hit the six month mark or so, I decided to run every day for a month. I started with 1 lap around the block, less than a mile, and worked up from there. And after that month, I couldn’t maintain every day (with the kids in the early am or with my almost-40-year old knees). But it was a doable project and took off a few lbs. Also, I’m totally on board with just buying something cute that fits, so you don’t have to dread putting on clothes every day.

    • Well, Abby, you may be in luck re. the book chat. The past few discussions have been great, but I’m looking for a more manageable way to “chat” with each other. I’m checking out Google Hangout this weekend, and I’ll let everyone know before we “meet” next week.

      As to losing weight: I suppose construction, followed by a big move, all whilst homeschooling kids might help with weight loss, too? You look great lately! 🙂