Books, Bibs, Birth, Budgeting: Quick takes all o’er the place.

1. Books

Last week, Jessica recommended A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story in her WWRW post.  Holy guacamole.  My library had it, I read it in a couple of hours.  It was in the “Middle School Fiction” section of the library, so not exactly the most challenging of books, but thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring.  Also, it is less than $4 on Amazon right now!  Clickety-clicky, my friends! And head on over to Housewifespice for a bunch of FREE kids’ Kindle books this week.

2. Bibs

So I don’t know where I’ve been for the past forever, but for some reason it wasn’t fooling around in in Whole Parenting Goods Etsy shop!  Why, I have no idea.  I mean, I’m nesting like crazy, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Nell’s Instagram giveaway for these bandit bibs (Thank you, Rosie!) that I clicked over and looked around.    Such cuteness.

Whole parentingNot my giveaway. and I get nothing from this except the fun of showing you these adorable babies in the cutest bibs I’ve seen thus far.

3. Birth

Alright, let’s play a little game, shall we?  If all you mamas out there could choose your ideal birth situation, what would it be?  Let’s say your safety and baby’s are guaranteed, and that cost was no issue. Where would you give birth?  Who would be there with you?  What circumstances would you choose?  This is a judgement-free game, so no need to dress it up or down.  I just really love talking about birth (my birth stories are all posted here) and I’m starting to prepare mentally for this upcoming one.  I’ll put my version of ideal in the comments section. 🙂

Unrelated pic #1: When my pedicure was still decent

Unrelated pic #1: When my pedicure was still decent

4. Budgeting

You guys, I want to talk to you about something serious right now.  It’s called a budget.  Up until 9 months ago, I was allergic to them.  Kevin has always been the saver and I’ve been the spender and in our relatively drama-and-argument-free marriage, money was “the big issue.”  Back in January, our parish hosted a series of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and I’m not exaggerating when I say it has changed our life, and has altered the dynamics of our marriage.

We have been very fortunate in our lives, and have never reached the point of financial ruin, but that’s what it was: good fortune.  Not good habits or any kind of proactive behavior on our part.  Last year, when we moved back from South Korea, we faced the same issues as before we left: living on one income in an expensive part of the country.  We weren’t sure if I would have to go back to work, or what would have to change.  I’m happy to say that, with the help of FPU, I can still stay home and we are able to do things like (gasp!) save for Christmas and (eek!) plan vacations.

I know, I know, a lot of people have issues with Dave Ramsey’s methods, and I can’t speak to anything but the basics of his program.  The real reason I’m telling you about this is because money was always an embarrassingly taboo subject for me, so I never wanted to ask for advice.  If any of you are in that situation, I hope I can inspire you: getting control of your money is possible.  And the “restrictions” of a budget actually have brought us a great amount of freedom and peace.

Unrelated pic #2: My brother presiding over my parents' renewal of vows at their 40th wedding anniversary.  prrrreeeeettttyyy much the pinnacle of their marriage thus far.

Unrelated pic #2: My brother presiding over my parents’ renewal of vows at their 40th wedding anniversary. Prrrreeeeettttyyy much the pinnacle of their marriage thus far.

5. A Real Conversation at my house tonight:

Aliya: Mommy, I don’t know what to do right now.  Will you play with me?

Me:  Sorry, babe.  It’s time for me to make dinner, and I need to clean up too.

Aliya: Can I make dinner?

Me: {Pause} Yes, I believe you can.

And there she went, happily cooking (okay, fine: heating) spaghetti, meatballs, sauce, and even preparing a salad.  I cleaned up the school area and supervised, of course, but she pretty much did everything on her own.  She even sat down on the floor and read a book to the boys while waiting for the noodles to cook.

Two words for you: Turning Point

(Related: If you have one or more little kids and no big kids and you can’t imagine a conversation like the one above, (Vanessa & Jamie, I’m looking at you!) check out this realistic-but-inspiring series: Before I Had a Seven Year Old.)

Unrelated pic #3: The girls had a couple friends over for a tea party/cheesecake party.  So much cute.

Unrelated pic #3: The girls had a couple friends over for a tea party/cheesecake party. So much cute.

6. Edel Gathering; Charleston or Bust!

This year, I didn’t go to the Edel Gathering.  And no, not-going did not kill me, but I made up my mind over the summer that I would start saving for next year’s event, if there was one.  (Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for making this even a thought in my mind.) Turns out there IS one next summer and it’s in Charleston, which is a city I’ve always wanted to visit.  Kevin even has some family there, so we are considering attaching Edel to a sightseeing/romantic vacation  (including baby girl, o’ course).  Hotel rooms have been booked, and now we must hound U.S. stinking Air for a way to use our bazillion miles.  (If you have experience with this painful process, please let me know.  It gives me a headache just thinking about it.)

Any of you other Catholic women wanna join in the fun?!

7. Ezekiel Kiehl

This is going to be a downer Take.  Skim if you must, but please promise to pray for the Kiehl family, okay?

A little blonde baby named Ezekiel (not mine) died in a tragic accident in Mexico.  He is the youngest of 6 kids in a missionary family.  The family is devastated.  The father, somehow, managed to write the most painfully beautiful piece about how Ezekiel’s short life affected those around him, from his own family to all the families and people in their remote area of Mexico.  If you are up for sharing some of their pain, and their beauty, please read this.  If you can’t handle it, I completely understand.  I almost didn’t read it myself.  But whatever you do, please please pray for them


Head on over to Jen’s for more Quick Takes.




  1. The bibs are so super cute. Will keep Baby E and family in prayer.

    My ideal birth is in a hospital. Seriously, even with safety guaranteed. I’m the kind of person who is very risk-averse, so I feel most comfortable with my doctor, who is an excellent surgeon, the alone time/quiet that being away from home affords is also a plus for me.

    I’ve had a c-section and an induction VBAC. I’ve had varying levels of awesome nurses (pretty sure my l&d nurse with my last was actually my guardian angel), some not so great, but I still like the hospital.

    I miss my kids at the hospital, but my newborn generally doesn’t leave my side and it’s nice to have that time before the toddler starts smacking the newborn in the head at feedings (that happened a lot at our house).

    I could do with a stay about half as long as insurance makes them, though. I’m usually ready to leave say before they’re ready to discharge me.
    Annery recently posted…Ending the Mommy Wars For Our ChildrenMy Profile

  2. Call about FF bookings, don’t use the web (past seeing when they fly and which flight you want). Really, they try and make it difficult to use miles, but the phone people are generally lovely and have a thousand more options than what you see on the web. I flew my family to NYC for my wedding with points, all on separate flights because of their schedules. I know whereof I speak. Good luck!

  3. Charleston is a beautiful city. And if you’re looking for some fun sight-seeing with children, Fort Moultrie has lots of tunnels and rooms for kids to run through.
    Claire Rebecca recently posted…7 Quick Takes {September 19, 2014}My Profile

  4. Oops, forgot to post my ideal birth last night!

    Homebirth, with a birth tub. People present: Kevin, my mom and MIL, my amaaaaaaaazing doula, my wonderful midwife (a CNM who trains OBs at USC Medical School). The kids (those interested anyway) would show up at the very end, or immediately after birth, only to be whisked away a little bit later so I could rest.
    Micaela recently posted…Books, Bibs, Birth, Budgeting: Quick takes all o’er the place.My Profile

  5. My best birth experience would be to off somewhere by myself – not at home (don’t want the kids to hear me moan and whine) not the hospital (why do they insist on hooking up monitors when a woman who has had multiple kids comes in saying she’s in labor?). My midwife says it’s like her cows are at birth (not as an insult – just a natural instinct to go and take care of business without distractions ). However, given that in the hospital the nurses are awesome at cleaning up the mess and taking care of me after birth (gotta love those warm blankets and cups with ice water and straws!) I guess a hospital is it. I just show up as late as possible in the birth process (I live blocks away from the hospital so I can get away with this).
    The ironic thing is that my last two birth had to be c-sections – now that I’ve figured out my perfect birth experience I can’t have it!

  6. Small baby and no PTSD: at home with my midwife and my husband.
    Big baby and PTSD (the reality): hospital with different midwife and my husband

  7. My totally ideal birth would be at home with just my husband and a midwife. And then afterwards my mom would come over and make all our meals and clean
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…Baby-Steps To Healthier EatingMy Profile

  8. Okay, my ideal birth… I think I’d like to have another house attached to ours that I could just be in alone with a birthing ball, and I could just lie around and read and watch TV and have Andrew bring me snacks (actually I usually feel nauseated all during labor, so probably no food) and those reeeeeally delicious hospital ice chips and the kids wouldn’t be able to come in and bother me. I don’t like being in water when I’m in labor, and in an ideal world I wouldn’t have to deal with any monitoring, I could just do my thing until the baby was ready to be born and then Andrew and whoever else NEEDED to be there could come in and be there. And then afterwards I would want a postpartum doula to clean everything up and cook for me or bring me takeout while I lie around not doing anything but nursing the baby.

    I really wanted to do a home birth this time around, but then I realized that having the kids around would stress me out SO much more than being in the hospital! And my OBs are awesome, as are all the nurses at the hospital we deliver at, so I think it’ll be fine 🙂
    Rosie recently posted…7 Quick Takes: Calendars, Freezer Cooking, Consignment ShoppingMy Profile

  9. My idea birth: I totally had it last time – almost 3 years ago! It’s at home with an awesome midwife and my husband. No interventions. No drama. Just love and peace and baby. It was the happiest day of my life. Truly.
    Praying that this time will go so well…

    That picture of your brother and parents made me tear up. Pinnacle of life I’m sure! That is my dream photo!

    Yay Edel! I’m glad you’re going! I went in Austin, but not going this time around. I LOVED it and am so glad I did – for me, though, a peak of dancing/karaoke was not my dream world and I’m going to save my dollars for a silent retreat. hehe 🙂 I am sure you’ll have a blast though! Charleston is such a wonderful, wonderful place!
    Andrea recently posted…Andrea Approved {7 Quick Takes}My Profile

  10. My ideal birth would be in a low-intervention hospital with my midwife, husband, and best friend. That’s pretty much what I had last time with the addition of a doula who kept telling me my birth wasn’t going as planned, evens though I was totally fine with it!

    And your picture nailed my dream 40th wedding anniversary. Wow!
    Catherine recently posted…Learning Notes for Week of Sept 15My Profile


  1. […] 7. I loved all your ideal birth situations from last week’s Quick Takes. […]