7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes




My dad returned to Texas on Tuesday and two little girls went into mourning. Bella threw temper tantrums all day long and was quite out of sorts.

They were so very glad to have him here. For six days he gave them his undivided attention. What a wonderful treat for them to have someone who didn’t have to fix dinner or do laundry or get up to change diapers. I can’t count how many hours he spent reading to them, They were glued to his side.

I am so sad my parents live so far away that we are only able to see them a couple of times a year. Still, what a treasure it is to have them in my children’s lives when we are able to be physically present to one another.


On Wednesday morning my sister took the kids to storytime at the library while I went to the OB. I got out of my appointment about ten minutes after storytime started so I went and had tea and a pastry at Panera. I sat in an armchair and read my book and sipped my tea and nibbled my pastry with NO INTERRUPTIONS. Fifteen minutes of bliss.

Oh sure these days I almost always get quiet time to read during the kids’ naps; but somehow it’s not the same as being all on my own out of the house. Oh those days when I was single and could spend hours reading at a coffee shop, I had no idea what a treat it was.


Ben has learned how to kiss his hand. We have a board book about kisses and now when we read it he holds his hand up to his mouth and makes smacking noises. Then he looks at me and giggles. It is the most adorable thing ever. I absolutely love this age.


This morning Sophie surprised me by counting to ten. “i have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight, nine, ten dollies.” Bella still struggles with this, I think numbers are just not her thing.


Cuteness of the day from Bella as I was doing the dishes this morning: “My hands are scuttling along the oven handle,” she told me as she made her fingers crawl along. “They are being ants.”

I particularly loved the word choice: “scuttling along”. You can tell she’s a bookworm.


Ben is teething again. Screaming, back arching, I refuse to eat anything but I’m going to cry because I’m hungry, unpleasant little ball of pained toddler boy.

These are the same teeth from way back in June, by the way. You remember when he decided he wasn’t going to nurse anymore? Yeah, they still haven’t broken through. I’m about ready to get a scalpel and help them along. Anything to just get it over with.


And I am all out of takes. Sorry my blogging has been slow. All the ideas I have these days would take too much time and brainpower to develop into blog posts. But on the other hand my floors have all been vacuumed in the past week. That counts for something, right.

Visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary for more quick takes.


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  • Oh goodness. Poor Ben. Poor mommy. I remember you saying you gave the girls like frozen broccoli and the like to gnaw on when they were teething. Has Ben refused something like that? 

    Prayers for both of you.

    It is funny. Sometimes it is more challenging to be there for a child and sometimes it is more challenging when the child is crying but doesn’t want you to comfort them. Sometimes, like when she will fall or something, Felicity will react by insisting we “leave her alone” and runs away from us. if we try to hold her then, she just screams more and tries to get away from us, almost as though she is embarrassed she is hurting. But if we leave her alone, eventually she wants us to hold her.

    It must be a comfort to you though, that even when it seems like there is so little you can do for him, even just holding him in your lap is a great comfort to him.

  • Hi Melanie,

    I *heart* Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and got to visit his summer home a few years back and meet Luciana before she died.  It was one of my favorite memories of that WYD 2005 pilgrimage to Italy / Germany.  I also met my husband through a Frassati Society for Young Adults.  I will have to confess though, when I first saw the title – I thought for a second – “woah, Melanie has some scoop on how Pope Benedict is going to cannonize Bl. PGF!!!  How exciting.”  Well, obviously you don’t, but the post was very beautiful nonetheless.  I hope Ben starts to feel better soon and God Bless you and your beautiful family!  -Marie

  • Oops I just accidentally deleted Cathy’s comment. Sorry about that, Cathy, it is too easy to hit the wrong button and there’s no way to undo it.

    From: Cathy

    Michelle’s comments reminded me of what a blessing the Hyland’s teething tablets were for my children. They’re small, sweet and easily dissolved, offering what appeared to be instantaneous relief.

  • Katherine, Ben is very stubborn. When he gets into a mood, he refuses anything and everything. He loves broccoli; but so far I haven’t been able to sell him on frozen vegetables of any kind.

    Michelle and Cathy, I have tried Hyland’s tablets because so many people seem to swear by them but I haven’t noticed that they have much effect on Ben.

    Marie, Sorry to disappoint about Pier Giorgio. How lovely to get to visit his home and meet his sister.

    I also need to correct my statement, Dom actually corresponded with Luciana’s daughter, Pier Giorgio’s niece, not with Luciana.

  • Melanie,

    The Hylands teething tablets are actually a much lower potency remedy than the 30C Chamomilla, if you want to give Chamomilla another try. Many children don’t respond to the Hylands because it isn’t very potent, which is why I don’t recommend them as a first remedy. A 30C remedy would be better, maybe even a high potency, but you would have to go to a professional homeopath for that. Hope that helps. smile

  • Hi, Melanie…I’m a ‘quiet’ reader of your blog, so this is my first comment. I enjoy reading your thoughts about homeschooling, books and life in general…I am quite the introvert myself, so it nice to read about someone who gets that. smile You have a lovely family!

    I just had to comment this time, though, in hopes that I could help ease the suffering of you little Ben. I’m very knowledgeable about the art of homeopathy, and your little guy is exhibiting the classical symptom picture for a particular remedy, Chamomilla. It is primarily a children’s teething remedy, and it presents with screaming and crying, back-arching, rageful anger and horrible pain. The child will consistently want things and then refuse them when they are offered. He wants to be carried and held, but then he doesn’t. He’s hungry, but won’t eat, tired but won’t sleep…sound familiar? smile

    Giving Chamomilla to a teething child can often work like magic to help them feel better. If you live near a Whole Foods or a good health food store, you can find Chamomilla 30C by Boiron. It costs about $8 and the remedy is like little white sugar pellets…kids think they are candy and love them. Just give him 3-4 pellets every few hours until symptoms improve, then stop until symptoms recur. Homeopathic remedies are extremely safe and have no side effects, and when you hit on the right remedy for the child’s state, they work beautifully to relieve symptoms. Homeopathic preparations are a bit different than the substance in it’s natural form, so while Chamomille tea is often recommended for teething, it’s not the same thing as homeopathic Chamomilla. The latter is much more effective.

    There is another form of homeopathic Chamomilla in a product called Hyland’s Teething tablets. These work just fine, too, but they are very, very soft little pellets that pretty much melt on contact with the child’s mouth. You can decide which one he would take more willingly. We always called them ‘candy medicine’ so our kids would take them. smile You can also dissolve either of the tablets in water and give spoonfuls of the water.

    I know you don’t know me from Adam and have no reason to take my advice, but I just couldn’t stand by and hear about his (and your!) suffering when I knew of a perfect remedy for it. I hope that if you try it, he gets some relief. Be assured of my prayers, Melanie.


  • Prayers coming your way (and Ben’s) for the teething circus and the baby transition. By the way, your writing is a real encouragement to me! It’s a very fresh, joyful and real look at the ups and downs of Catholic motherhood. Thanks!

  • Thanks, Lydia. You just made my day. Recently I feel like I’ve been treading water with the blog. No time to really compose and write what all the things jumbled about in my head. 

  • seen today on CBS: “The FDA has detected a potentially toxic substance in Hyland’s Teething Tablets and urges consumers to discard them, according to a statement released by the agency. The manufacturer of the over-the-counter tablets, Hyland’s, issued a recall. The substance in question is belladonna, which can cause “serious harm” at high doses, according to the agency, which said it has received reports that some children taking the product experienced symptoms that are consistent with belladonna toxicity.”

    Here is a link to the news article:;lst;1
    and here is the notice on the company’s web page:

  • Check his ears.  Usually when my kids are that upset, it’s more than just their teeth…and they never get fevers either.  I hope he feels better soon!