The Unexpected Blessings of Potty Training

boy potty training

A month or so ago, with the birth of my second child fast-approaching, and the idea of changing double the amount of diapers looming in my mind, I decided that it was time. My son, recently turned two, was going to learn to use the potty. No more diapers. Of course, I read up on all the methods available, got tons of advice from friends
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Lenten cross

It has been a Lent of longing for me.  A longing for the consolation of God, a longing for deep and meaningful friendships, a longing to make my wonderful marriage even better, and, yes, a longing for all of those desserts that I gave up.  And now I long to lay my eyes on the images in our church that are shrouded in purple–to see
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Saint Mail: A Great Tool for Bringing the Saints Home

saint mail

Recently I received a package from Molly at Saint Mail, a unique company that brings the saints right into our homes every month.  My children received a sealed letter from Saint Isidore of Seville along with craft ideas, family chat suggestions, a beautiful book mark, a Saint Isidore fridge magnet, and a lot more cool stuff that had my kids occupied for ages. I LOVE
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My Body Given Up for You

madonna nursing

I recently overheard a fellow pregnant woman comment to her husband words that saddened me. I chalked up my sadness to my hormones (the ones that have me constantly crying at television commercials). I told myself I had taken her too seriously; quite likely, I had. After all, she was very pregnant, too. And achy. And tired. And round. I know. She said so. As
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5 Signs of a Successful Family


Last week my husband and I attended a workshop led by a couple who had once been on the brink of divorce.  They had everything the world told them a successful family should have:  two children, a giant house, a vacation house on the beach, and nice cars.  Yet they were miserable.  Their message: the world’s definition of success is a lie.  For them, saving their
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Where Things Come to Break


“This is where things come to break.” My husband and I looked at each other and burst out laughing when we heard that line on the television show The Middle–a sitcom about the ups and downs of middle class family life. Where things come to break.  That certainly seems to sum up our household sometimes.  Right now it takes the work of three people to
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Dealing with Swearing


Published previously at Mother of Nine9. Experience has taught me that the easiest and most effective way to influence children is to ignore negative behavior and praise good behavior. When our family was still young, few kids lived nearby because our house sat on a few acres in the sparsely populated Greenbelt surrounding Ottawa, Canada. The kids were free to explore, catch frogs, make forts,
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Tender Tidings Spring 2014 AVAILABLE!

TT spring 2014

At last, the spring issue of our FREE parenting magazine, Tender Tidings, is available for viewing!  Our special topic is Educational Options. This is honestly our best issue yet.  You’ll find tons of ideas for living a joyful, radiant life with your family.  Definitely check out Marcia’s article on doing the Stations of the Cross with kids! A few changes in this issue: The special topic
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Filled with Desire

child on piano

“Perhaps it’s that element of striving to reveal what could exist beyond our humanity that gives us the drive to excel at whatever our God-given abilities lead us to do.” So many emotions flooded through me as I watched my son sit down to perform in a recent piano recital. I started a Hail Mary, but I just couldn’t get through it.  Instead, I thought
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ICP Links

Some new links over at ICP, including one to a FREE parenting seminar and links for Lent.

Reflections from “The Bathing Grandma”


“Don’t treat babies like objects or bath time like a chore. Relax, talk and relate to this new little person in a soothing, calm voice that reassures him that he is safe, loved and protected.” Yes, my new title is “The Bathing Grandma” because I know how to bathe newborns without making them cry. How I move and speak and handle newborns is automatic after mothering
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Childhood Friends: Tomorrow on M2L


  Tomorrow I’ll be joining Greg and Lisa Popcak on their wonderful radio program More2Life!  We’ll be talking about childhood friendships:  How do peer relationships figure in our child’s development and should we ever be worried that a child’s friendship is actually harmful to her?  Tune into More2Life at 12-1 EST on Thursdays:  Don’t get M2L on your Catholic radio station? More2Life is on 12-1
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