Monday, February 3, 2014

January in review

The big news this month was that Miriam started school!

I adore everything about her school. Obviously the whole Montessori approach. The "parent ed" nights where we get to go in and learn about all the materials. The enthusiasm and conviction of the teachers. The children in their little uniforms. How beautiful the rooms are. The fact that there are absolutely no licensed characters anywhere. The fact that there is no junk food. The fact that they shake hands when they arrive and leave every day. 

And most importantly, the fact that Miriam loves it. Never a single tear. Just delight in going. And delight in coming home. Delight all around!

That's not to say I don't miss her. We went from being together all day every day to her being gone five mornings a week, after all! I really don't like running errands without her - I truly miss her company! I wish the start time was later or earlier so we could get back to daily mass at least once a week. But I know that this is exactly where she's supposed to be. So we've embraced it. And it's been fantastic.

In other news, Cecilia started crawling! Though she hasn't gotten her belly off the ground yet, the army crawl has been effective enough so that trash cans and the dog's bowls are no longer safe.

Oh! And Miriam got her first haircut... by yours truly! I couldn't believe I did it, but once I started it was actually kind of fun. And her hair is wavy enough that you can't really tell it's not straight. I even attempted to include some layers (again, so you couldn't tell it was hacked by mommy dearest). There's a lot of room for improvement, but overall it turned out pretty well! (If you see her in person, please just smile politely and agree that it's not bad.)


I was really excited to finally create a fabric book about the names in our family. The book itself is similar to our rosary book, but this time instead of printing out and ironing on pictures of the mysteries, I ironed on names and pictures of the family members, saints, and Bible characters that we're named after.

Actually neither my husband nor I are named after any saints, but we have classic Christian names so we just picked some that we liked.

I thought I'd do a lot more sewing, but then I spent a ton of time labeling all of Miriam's clothes for school. I even had to label her socks. As someone who has never worn a uniform or had to label my clothes for any reason, I was a little perplexed as how best to do this. Sharpie? Embroider? I ended up creating an iron-on label and it worked out well for pretty much everything.

I was way too excited about how pretty the labels turned out.
Green to match her uniform, cursive since that's what they learn first,
and the fleur de lis just because it's pretty.

So between the book and these labels, I spent a lot of time with my iron this month. I also made a pair of pants that ended up too long for Miriam (and thanks to an adorable ruffle would not be easy to shorten), so I didn't put the elastic in and set them in the back of her closet for next year. I also attempted to sew her a pair of underwear. Fail. Although they might fit Cecilia.

Finally, after resolving not to buy any more fabric until I finish the half dozen projects I already have material for, I impulsively bought this pink and blue houndstooth and immediately started making matching dresses for the girls. They're almost finished.


Our favorite picture books this month:
  • Bernadette: the little girl from Lourdes (Maraval-Hutin) (we own this one)
  • Flicka, Ricka, Dicka go to market (Lindman)
  • A gift of gracias: the legend of Altagracia (Alvarez)
  • Esther's story (Wolkstein)
  • The three little pigs (Galdone)
  • On a wintry morning (Chaconas)
  • Will you be my friend? (Carle)
  • The new Bible in pictures for little eyes (Taylor)
  • The elves and the shoemaker (Galdone)
  • Miss Rumphius (Cooney) (I would consider buying this one)
  • Chloe (McCarty)
  • Stone Soup (Brown)
  • We Three Kings (Spirin) (not pictured)
  • Pete the cat and his four groovy buttons (Litwin) (not pictured)

What I read this month:
  • Started an unpublished manuscript about Mother Aloysius
  • Started the Book of Revelation
  • How to raise selfless kids in a self-centered world (Stone)
  • Montessori madness (Eissler)
  • The naturally clean home: 150 super-easy herbal formulas for green cleaning (Siegel-Maier)
  • Curly girl: the handbook (Massey) (not pictured)

Goal Tackling

I achieved one of my big goals and submitted my first children's book manuscript! Now I just have to wait four months to realize that I've been rejected, and figure out the next publisher to send it to.

We started celebrating more saints' feast days this month, which has been another one of my goals. I quickly realized that for us "celebrating" really just means reading about the saint at bedtime - and that's great.

I sometimes can feel like the months have flown by and I didn't do much, so I thought that by doing a little post like this I could remind myself that our days are actually quite full. And judging by the length of this "little" post, our January has indeed been full!


  1. Aww! That Montessori school sounds really nice! I don't think we have anything like that around here.

    Isn't Chloe the cutest book ever? We took that book out last month, and this month we took out the "prequel" -- Henry in Love. (Henry is a cat in her class who is in love with Chloe). So much cuteness. I just love McCarty's illustrations.

    I'm amazed by your sewing skills. Pants! Dresses!! So far I'm still at curtains and mittens. Someday.

    I had no idea you were interested in writing children's books. I wanted to do that for most of my youth, until I lost my imagination in high school and university. Maybe I'll get it back yet?

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  3. How did I miss this post? There's a Montessori school just a few blocks away that I want to tour, but I'm still torn as to whether or not I feel like preschool is really necessary (we should chat about it next week!). And then there's the big decision for real school looming ahead (Catholic, Public, Montessori, Full Day, Half Day? ugh)


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