In-the-Shower Thought #1: Good Ole’ Cleaning Days

in the shower

I do some of my best thinking in the shower.  I don’t know why, it’s just the way it is.  Perhaps it’s because it’s one of the few times I am left alone to my own devices.  Or maybe the feel of being encompassed by warm water has a way of relieving tension to the point that your best thoughts just come seeping out of your mind.  Who knows.  Either way, I am deciding to make a category of posts entitled “In-the-Shower Thoughts” for the times I feel like sharing my “rainy reflections.”  As you are about to read, they are not always deep.  They are often just silly, but they get me thinking and prove that 24 hours of baby-talk have not made me as brain dead as I thought.  And that’s what’s important my friends.

(Update:  I just re-read my whole post and I think I am that brain dead). 

So, this morning I took a shower and it was just lovely.  Confession:  I don’t shower every day.  I simply don’t have the time.  Though if I’m being honest, I didn’t shower every day when I did have the time.  It’s not good for my hair.  Regardless, this morning I actually got to shower before work.  When I think in the shower, my thoughts end up in a long train.  Probably because I am a female and that’s just how the female brain works:  one thing connects to another, which connects to another, and so on.  Here was my train of thought this morning:

Boogers on the walls  →  “I love blowing my nose in the shower”  →  “Pooper used to hate when I blew my nose in the shower”  →  “Pooper always cleaned the shower”  →  “I loved cleaning days with Pooper”  →  “During cleaning days, I never had to clean the whole house by myself”  →  “I didn’t always have a toddler trailing behind me to pull out the things that I just put away.”  →  “Maybe I’ll see if Pooper will come over for a cleaning date”  →  “For old-time’s sake, I think Pooper should clean the shower.”

Like I said, my thoughts aren’t always deep.

So why are there boogers on my shower walls?  Because my husband, as handsome as he is, is a savage and loves to “snot rocket” in the shower.  In our almost two years of marriage, I have come to find that he is quite like our dog Hopkins was as a puppy– VERY hard to train.  So although I point out to him on a regular basis that he rockets his boogers onto the walls of our shower and that he needs to clean them up because that’s foul, he forgets.  Or ignores me.  Either way, it’s not okay.  So this morning, I found myself staring at a few of his nasty boogers on the wall of my shower.  Which led to…

Thought #2:
I will admit that I am also a fan of blowing my nose in the shower.  It’s just so easy and so convenient.  However, because I’m not a savage, I blow my nose into my hand then wash it off down the drain.  (All of you calling me gross also know how awesome it is to blow your nose in the shower, so stop lying.  You’re just being a nerd.)  Which led to…

Thought #3:
Pooper is my dear, dear friend since high school.  Though she has a real name, I am choosing to refer to her as I refer to her in real life: Pooper.  Pooper and I were roommates in college (though really more like life-mates) and she used to HATE when I would blow my nose in the shower.  She would hear me do it and yell at me through the bathroom door.  I even tried to do it quietly when she was home to avoid her wrath.  She’d always say: “Kathleen!  You’re just as bad as my brother!  You’re so gross!”  [So as not to slander, I will say her brother is pretty awesome.  And attractive.  And single.  And my back-up husband, so all you single ladies just stay away.]  All this led to…

Thought #4:
Pooper always cleaned the shower.  That’s why she hated my nose blowing.  She claimed it clogged the drain.  I maintain it was our massive amounts of hair.  Moving on…

Thought #5:
Pooper and I used to have cleaning days about once a month where we would deep-clean our entire apartment.  We would put on some loud music that we could dance to, she would clean the bathroom, I would clean the kitchen, we would collaborate on the living room, then go do our own rooms.  Call us lame, but they were some of our most fun days.  And usually ended with a celebratory and well-earned glass of wine.

Thought #6:
Hey– how come the housework stopped getting divvied up when I got married?!

Thought #7:
Cleaning is definitely not as fun when you can’t sit back at the end of the day to look at your finished masterpiece with a glass of wine.  Why can’t I do that?  Because as soon as I wash all the Tupperware and put it back in the cabinet, Magdalene is behind me pulling it all back out again.  Follow my “progress” throughout the rest of the house and you will come to find that there has actually been no progress thanks to Magdalene, the 30-inch Mess Monster.  Which brought me to the BRILLIANT…

Thought #8:
Pooper should come over to have cleaning dates with me!  Sure she’d have to drive a little over an hour but it would be sooo fuuuun!  Right, Poops??  So fun!!

And since all thoughts come full circle, I am brought to…

Thought #9:
These boogers are disgusting.  Pooper’s definitely cleaning the shower.

And there you have today’s In-the-Shower Thought.  I know you aren’t leaving this blog any wiser than when you entered, so I’ll do my part to make you a better person and leave you with a riddle:

I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?

If you think you know it, post your answer!  Good night, and good luck.

Winner, winner chicken dinner.

Let me start by saying that I don’t consider myself a very good Housewife.  Rather, I consider myself a “Housewife-in-Training.”  Though if I’m being honest with myself, I will probably never achieve the elite role of “Housewife” as it exists according in my mind.  The following are a list of standards that a woman must meet to achieve the title of “Kathleen’s Ideal Housewife”:

  • They know what to make for dinner 95% of the time.
  • The 5% of the time that they don’t know what to make for dinner, they look through their refrigerator and cabinets and whip something delicious together in their head based on their leftovers.
  • They are able to keep up with the majority of their housework and do not regularly do a mad-dash to “tidy up” (or in my case to “scrub, clean, and disinfect”) their home half an hour before someone is due to arrive.
  • They are able to grocery shop based on a prepared list which contains a week’s worth of ingredients for planned breakfasts, lunches, and dinners and takes into account store sales and coupons.  (I still practice the “let’s just go see what looks good” method and before I know it I have significantly overspent and half the food is out in the Thursday trash.)
  • They must resemble a modern-day June Cleaver.  For reference…

Who else could rock a flannel with pearls but the one-and-only Mrs. Cleaver?

Okay, so I just looked over my list and realized that I will definitely never meet even one of these standards.  In fact, if there is someone out there who regularly meets even two of these standards, please reach out to me so I can come observe and study you in your natural habitat.  Looks like some altered expectations are on the horizon.  Good news for me!  (See how eye-opening putting thoughts down on virtual paper can be?  I highly recommend it.)

Though I will never be anywhere close to a June Cleaver, I have to share with you all my “Housewife win” from yesterday.  It was a typical weekday where I found myself on my way home from work without so much as a thought for dinner in my head.  Thankfully, my husband was out-of-town so I didn’t feel much pressure to fill a hungry man-belly.  However, my mother-in-law was staying with me to watch the Babe for a couple of days and she deserved a treat.  Half the time when she’s down, she is washing my dishes, doing my laundry, and cooking my dinner while simultaneously watching 2 grandchildren.  And she’s doing these things because (as mentioned) I am a struggling housewife who can’t keep up with anything.  So it was just the two of us and the Babe last night and she deserved dinner made for her!  So I went to my go-to Cookbook (Pinterest– because you can find anything on Pinterest) and found, quite literally, the fastest, easiest, and least expensive meal I have ever made.  And I just felt compelled to share with you all.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies.

photo(1)

Here is where I found the original recipe.  She actually has step-by-step photos, which is a lovely touch.  I was too hungry to take the time for that.  But it was actually the easiest and most delicious thing I have ever made.  So easy, in fact, that I am going to type out the ingredient list and recipe for you by heart right now.  Here it goes:

Serving:  Makes 8 mini pot pies

Ingredients:
1 can of Pillsbury Grand biscuits
2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup of shredded chicken (I used one large can of shredded canned chicken)
1 can of condensed Cream of (whatever you choose) soup (I used Cream of Broccoli)
Sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

Steps to the easiest Pot Pies ever:

1- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2- Spray cupcake tins with non-stick cooking spray.  Flatten out the biscuits and line each cupcake slot with one.

3- In a bowl, mix together frozen vegetables, shredded chicken, and cream of (whatever) soup.

4- Fill the biscuits with your veggie/chicken mixture.  (I filled each one to overflowing with about 1.5 heaping tablespoons each).

5- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

6- Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of each pot pie and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until biscuits have a delightfully crispy, golden edge.

7- Bon appetit, mes amis.

Seriously, that’s it!  I can’t tell you how often I find a “Quick and easy” recipe where the prep actually ends up taking me at least half an hour (which is not quick when making dinner coincides with chasing a toddler out of the dog’s water bowl).  This took me a solid 3 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to cook, and about 7.5 minutes to stuff down my throat.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  And what’s better: you can make two batches and individually wrap & freeze them for grab & go lunches!  Wasssup!  I just adore a good find like this.

I actually have a whole Pinterest board of recipes I have found, tried, and have proven true in my kitchen.  Feel free to follow and try them out on your own!  Click here to take a look.

Hopefully I brought us all just a little bit closer to June Cleaver status.  Though, really, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.  Until next time, my friends.  All the best to you and yours!

Magdalene, teach me how to pray.

So this is my daughter, Magdalene…

Photo courtesy of the one-and-only Maddie Cummings.

Photo courtesy of the one-and-only Maddie Cummings.

My goodness is she a trip.  She manages to squeeze more personality into her tiny baby toe than most people can fit into their whole lives.  And that’s not always a good thing– Michael and I have our work cut out for us with this one.  For just as sweet and charming as she can be, she is equally (if not more so) conniving and devilish.  But just look at those piercing blue eyes and that adorable little face.  They are the only reasons we haven’t thrown her out the window during a nonsense, middle-of-the-night tantrum.

In the short amount of time that Magdalene has been alive, she has taught me boatloads.  Things like patience, the importance of deep-breathing, how to perform the Infant Heimlich, how to change a diaper on a standing (and sometimes even dancing) child, how to make a toy out of LITERALLY anything, and how to perfectly re-roll a roll of toilet paper.  She has taught me many things that I never EVER thought I would have to learn– who knew skills such as remembering to ALWAYS close the toilet seat lid when you’re done would ever come in handy.

Indeed, Magdalene has taught me many things.  But more important than the things that make my hair go gray at the ripe, old age of twenty-something, she has managed to teach me many more positive things.  These things include the joy of simplicity (because obviously tupperware is way more fun than the brand-new $20 light-up toy that sings AND dances), just how contagious laughter really can be, how thrilling it is to see someone you love 10 minutes after they leave, how to actually dance like nobody’s watching (and God do I really hope nobody’s been watching), and how nothing in the world feels better than two little arms wrapped around your neck.  I think every parent has said to me that you learn just as much from your kids as they learn from you, if not more.  And I never doubted it.  But you don’t really realize how profound of a lesson that is until you start experiencing it on your own.  Tonight, Magdalene (who speaks barely a handful of coherent words) actually taught me a lot about prayer.

(Pause for another super-cute picture of the Mags….)

Such a funny little face!

Such a funny little face!

(…that was fun!)

Now obviously Magdalene is not saying, “Mom, let me teach you how to pray.”  At her young age, she’s more concerned with the sound of two blocks banging together than philosophical and theological concepts.  But her very existence forces me to think about certain things that I would not necessarily think about if she were not such a part of my life, which I consider a way of “teaching”.

I will be the first to admit that I have always struggled with prayer.  I am an instant-gratification type of person; if I can’t see it working, I give up.  And while I never doubt the power of prayer, I go through phases where I really try to stick to it and then I get tired of trying.  Magdalene and I have our nighttime routine.  We strip down, wash up, brush our teeth, put on our jammies, say goodnight to Daddy and Hopkins, then snuggle together as we say our bedtime prayers.  Since beginning this routine with her as an infant, it is the first time I have ever really stuck to a “Prayer Schedule”.  Every parent has certain values and habits that they try to instill in their children.  I am beginning to realize that, for me, the values and habits I try my hardest to instill in Magdalene are the ones that I struggle with myself.  I don’t think that’s anything particularly profound; in fact, I think it’s only natural to want your children to learn from your “mistakes” or failures.  But, upon realizing this, I began to ask myself, “What do I want Magdalene to learn about prayer that I also need to learn?”  The answer was “to pay attention.”

I am the WORST at having too many thoughts running through my mind at one time.  I know it’s a typical characteristic of the female brain, but I swear I have it worse than all y’all.  Michael blows my mind because he claims that he can sit and think about… nothing.  Just.. nothing at all.  He can sit in one spot and literally have not one thought in his brain.  I mean, doesn’t that sound absurd?  I have, at minimum, 52 thoughts on my mind 24/7, 365.  And when I stop to pray, that minimum bumps up to 76.  I find myself thinking about my never-ending to-do list in the middle of my second Hail Mary or what I’m going to make for dinner as I sit and try to “meditate” (because “meditate” rhymes with “ate” which is what my husband will say he wish he did by the end of the day if I don’t think of something!)  So, needless to say, my prayer is rarely ever intimate, but rather a constant “going through the motions”.  So I decided to pay close attention to this tonight as Magdalene and I prayed.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (a rather dense read if you’re up for it), says that “God put us in the world to know, to love, and to serve him, and so to come to paradise.” (CCC 1721).  In other words, that is the entire point of our lives– to know God, love God, and serve God in THIS life so that we can be eternally happy with him in the next.  So every night, Magdalene and I pray that God grants us a restful night’s sleep so that we can wake up tomorrow refreshed and renewed.  And we ask him for the graces to come to know, love, and serve him better tomorrow than we did today.  And as we prayed that tonight, I paid very close attention to what we were saying and I thought, “What if I actually did that?”  What if instead of waking up every morning, and going about my normal day complaining about the people I usually complain about and fighting the same personal battles I usually fight, I made a conscious effort to try to know, love, and serve God better than I did yesterday?  Hell– I could be a saint by the end of the month!  Jk, obvi.  But, really, what if I did?  And if that is what the actual meaning of life is, why don’t I take that more seriously?  I mean, people spend their whole lives searching for the meaning of life!  And here I am claiming to know it, but not doing crap about it?  Is that very smart?  Probs not.  I’m not exactly sure how to come to know, love, and serve God through my daily life, but after tonight I’m much more determined to figure it out.  Maybe you will be too after our little lesson thanks to Baby Maggie.  And if not, I think the overall lesson to really pay attention to what you say and mean what your saying is one we can all benefit from.  Just food for thought.

Okay– that’s all for the night.  Next post is promised to be less serious.  Maybe I’ll throw a favorite recipe in your face!  Or an insane picture of Hopkins (of which I have some good ones.)  You never know.  I’ll just keep you guessing 😉

Good night, my friends!  Sleep tight.

Photo courtesy of Karen Rumore's "Catch LITERALLY every moment" photography technique.

Photo courtesy of Karen Rumore’s “Catch LITERALLY every moment” photographic technique.

Welcome to My Diaper Bag!

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Greetings!  And thanks for stopping by my little piece of internet that I have officially dubbed “My Diaper Bag.”  I’m sure you will find things here a bit disorganized, slightly chaotic, and maybe even a bit curious (quite like my actual diaper bag– pictured above).  However, I hope you may on occasion also find things to be enlightening, humorous, and tres, tres chic (because I know you were already asking yourself where I got such a cute diaper bag!)  The answer is Babies ‘R Us.

So first things first, I suppose, and since this is my first post I can’t think of a better place to start.  With that being said, let’s ask the first obvious question: “Kathleen, what’s up with the title of your weirdo blog?”  It really does make sense, I promise you.

While I would like to say that I was creative enough to come up with this title on my own, I have to admit that it was divinely inspired.  As with most creative things I do, I am not creative enough to pull them off on my own.  The title came to me while I was praying before Mass for the first time without my one-year-old flailing out of my arms.  Does that mean that the clouds opened up and God spoke to me from the Heavens saying, “Kathleen, you shall name your blog ‘The Depths of My Diaper Bag’ because I will it to be so!”  No.  First of all, imagining the God of the Universe saying the words “Diaper Bag” seems quite humorous to me.  To be honest, I don’t believe God even cares that I have a blog nevertheless what I call it.  But, I do believe that He likes to help me out and he knew I had been thinking about doing this “blog thing” for a while.  So it was more of a, “Hey Kathleen, here’s an idea for your silly little blog,” and I just took it and ran!

(The above is an example of the aforementioned “disorganization” and “chaos” that you may continuously come across throughout this blog.  I tend to ramble.)

Get to the point, Kathleen– why the diaper bag?

Well you see, every woman (and probably some very attuned men) know that a look inside a woman’s purse reveals a ton about her, well beyond her likes and dislikes.  A woman’s purse can reveal her dreams, her burdening responsibilities, her secrets, her desires, her insecurities, her faith, her struggles, and probably a good idea of her menstrual cycle (a very intimate subject, indeed!).  You may not see these things based on the face value of the objects within, which makes her handbag all the more mysterious– it hides the things (both positive and negative) that she doesn’t always care for the world to see.  But with a very close look and a desire for understanding, someone can come to know more of her based on these objects.

This is not to say everything we carry in our bags means something– indeed at least half of my bag is filled with random crap (receipts, candy wrappers, empty tupperware, and dirty diapers.)  But that’s the fun of this blog.  It is my little piece of the world wide web where I can reveal all the things in my “bag”: my philosophies, my faith, my random “in-the-shower” thoughts, and my useless crap that I just feel like sharing (probably some recipes and random family life tips and tricks as I learn them!)  The possibilities are endless and I hope to always keep you guessing 🙂

Lastly, I am deciding to call this place my “Diaper Bag” (not my “Gucci bag” or my “Beach bag”) for two reasons.  Reason #1:  I can’t afford Gucci and I can’t sit on the beach for more than an hour without getting burned and bored.  Reason #2: Thirteen months ago I became a mother and it has been the most tiring, the most emotional, and the most rewarding 13 months of my life.  Being a mother has become my identity and I thank God for every second of it.  So every time I am tempted to treat myself to a cute new handbag I see on the sale rack in Target, the practical side of me always kicks in and says, “But where are you ever going to wear that in the next 5 years?”  And just like that, I walk away.  And I am fine with that.  I carry a diaper bag everywhere I go (which is why I picked such a cute one!) so all those secrets, responsibilities, and insecurities of mine all lie within the thing that marks me to the public as my most prized role in life– a mother.

So I hope you enjoy the things I post!  And if not, that’s fine.  This is really a place for me to get out the things I keep inside for no reason other than I don’t think anyone else would find them interesting.  Maybe I’m right or maybe I’m wrong.  But either way, you are invited to laugh, cry, pray, and ponder on the things that I find… in the depths of my diaper bag.

Peace, my friends.