7 Quick Takes


Obviously because I put it on the internet, Joey is no longer potty trained, not even a little bit. After 3 solid weeks of complete success both days AND nights, he is suddenly peeing in his pants, on the carpet, all over the bathroom wall, and now, (un)happily (for me) in a diaper. Obviously I did what any reasonable first-time toddler mom would do and consulted Dr. Google, so Obama, if you’re watching (which we can now rest assured, is always the case) please throw me a bone here.

So far the reasons for regression I’ve concocted include 1. Juvenile diabetes (Oh, nobody else ever goes end of the world/worst case scenario immediately whenever their children throw them for a loop? Just me then?) 2. UTI (TMI?) 3. He hates me 4. He hates the new baby 5. No reason at all, Mom, why would you ask?

Speaking of the new baby, Joey is still 100% sold that it’s a boy, and that his name is Baby Jack or just plain old ‘Tonio. We shall see, but probably not for 6 more months. We’ve never found out the sex ahead of time, and we were considering doing it this time for the sake of, oh, I don’t know, some shred of control (or the illusion thereof), but I think I’d like to have that continuity with our other delivery room moments, so…una bimbo mysterioso it is. Or bimba. 

My kids are complete frenemies right now. One second it’s fraternal bliss, the next minute somebody is hitting somebody else with a tree limb. Just before naptime today found them squeezed into the baby tub, on the balcony, hitting each other in the head with heavy metal pieces to a never-assembled IKEA baby gate. Whatever, guys. Better you learn it here than on the streets.

I have some favorite, favorite blogs that are always immediate ‘read nows’ whenever the content is fresh. Sometimes to the detriment of my primary vocation, God help me, but I just can’t quit Jonesy, Christy, Rosie, Grace, Ana, Dwija, Lindsay, Kendra, or Lisa. In no particular order, and all worthy of a click. Who are your go-to bloggers?

In my bold new attempt to embrace la dolce vita, instead of collapsing on the couch at 7:12 pm when Dave walks in the door, I think we’ll instead hop a bus across the Tiber so we can visit…Subway. As in, the sandwich restaurant. I’ve heard it’s ‘the only American restaurant worth visiting abroad’ and I’m reeeeeeally hoping that means there is some ranch dressing lurking somewhere along that assembly line. Friday nights are hot in casa della Uebbing.

Dave and I have been reading aloud from the Duggar’s latest book at bedtime this week (we’re 70 and we know it), and I think I’ve come up with an idea to adapt some of their amazing Scripture training techniques for children with a Catholic twist. And seriously, some of the stuff their family does is so, so Catholic. Like they’re thisclose…so, praying for a full conversion to the Truth because what an awesome, awesome family to have in ours. Plus, they just work so hard to feed their family with God’s word and it is so inspiring, but I’m seriously all, oh my gosh guys, you’re doing sooooo much on your own, you need to get some Sacramental grace up in there. 
So the idea? We usually try to read the daily readings at some point during the day, ideally as a family, and in the morning. That happens about, oh, probably .4% of the time. So. Today it actually happened, and I thought I’d take a short verse from one of the readings and help Joey memorize it during the course of the day by repeating it over and over again, and having him say it back to me. Plus, I promised him gelato if he can recite it for Daddy tonight. I am notoriously inept at recalling Scripture from memory, even after 3 years of working for Ana’s FIL, and I’m a little ashamed. So maybe it will help me, too?
Please, please, oh please, not that anyone who reads this blog isn’t also reading Dwija‘s much better and funnier tome…storm heaven for her sweet unborn baby. 
Pray also for her strength and peace, and for her doctor to repent of being such a galactic asshole as to suggest abortion to a mother of 6. My own mom still has rage blackouts over the memory of being offered the chance to ‘terminate’ my sweet little sister Tia, (number 6 in our own fam and our former foreign nanny extraordinaire) and the thought of a medical professional who is supposed to be in the business of caring for your baby’s health offering to kill it, instead, makes me want to commit heinous crimes of my own.
Whew. Off to Jen for more pictures, better writing, and less profanity.


  • Laura Pearl

    YOU are one of my go-to bloggers (as well as some of the others you listed up there in #4–I didn’t even have to click on the links to see whose blogs you were talking about!). I’m always happy when I see you’ve posted something new. I think you’re inspiring and hilarious at the same time.

    And what you mentioned about doctors in #7–oh my gosh, it’s so infuriating. It was suggested to my sister-in-law, when she was pregnant with triplets (now three healthy 11-year-olds) that perhaps she might like to do a selective abortion to remove one, so that the pregnancy would be less high risk! Truly, the world has gone mad.

  • Rosie

    Those are some of my absolute favorites, too! I’m honored to be in the presence of such awesome bloggers 🙂 I also love Colleen at Martin Family Moments because she has big kids AND little kids and has totally been through what we’re going through right now! And Ashley at Narrative Heiress proooobably had her twins yesterday so you should follow and see baby pictures when she posts them!!! And Britt at Fisk Files lives on a ranch and has three little boys who are close in age to yours and they have the most beautiful blue eyes and are really funny!

    Also I really need to start reading me some Duggar books. I think I could learn a lot from them! If nothing else, maybe she shares the secret of how she stays so very very calm in the midst of all those children?

  • Francine

    I know what you mean re:potty training. Granted, we didn’t have quite the progress you did, but the kid knows what she’s supposed to do and just doesn’t. We’ve gone through a ridiculous list of rewards to no avail. I’m pretty sure we’ll be buying diapers until she’s 9.

  • Katie

    How old is your oldest again? Be patient with potty training. Boys can be tough. My youngest was my hardest and he was three before I could bribe him big enough to get potty trained.

  • Lisa

    Oh wow, thanks for the shout-out, Jenny! The others are all such awesome bloggers I feel unworthy (can’t think of a less cheesy word) to be mentioned w/ ’em (esp. after my latest post). 😛
    Love reading about your life in Italia, and favs of this post are for #1, reason 5 for Joey’s regression, and frenemies.
    Also, when I visited Rome w/ my family I remember just craving a sub or sandwich! Sometimes you just need some American chow.

  • Ana

    There were like 60 unread items items on my feedly and yours was the first one I clicked on, so I think makes you one of my go-to blogs.

    You should totes find out baby gender, if only for my own creepy obsession– that’s always a good reason right?

    It is so cute you are reading the Duggars book together.

    Praying so hard for Dwija.

  • LeighAnna

    You’re one of my go-to blogs! (Hello! I don’t think I’ve commented here before…) I may not be in Italy, but I totally feel you on the Subway visit. I had a “hot date” there with my husband this week, too!

  • Amelia Bentrup

    I always go to the worst possible case scenario in my mind as well..especially when it comes to health things. A sore arm is never just a sore arm…oh no..in my mind, it’s something serious like cancer or m.s. or something terrible.

    My kids have all regressed at potty-training. It think it just happened when they were drinking too much liquid..and hence, had to pee more. At least that’s my theory..better than juvenille diabetes at least.

  • Holly

    I usually get pout a little bit whenever I check my blog feed and don’t see a new post by you. For real. I like my blog posts by my IRL friends most! I really love some of the blogs you’ve linked- “Catholic All Year” and “My Child, I love You” being two of them. I also found Dwija’s blog due to you and my heart is broken and I am praying for that sweet baby so hard. I cannot imagine. God bless her…

    We (except not my husband, just me) are reading the Duggar book now, too. Thanks to yours truly! And, I see that Josh and Anna had #3 yesterday? I like the Duggars, too. Now, whenever I see someone wearing something skimpy, I can’t help but say “NIKE” to myself. 🙂

    Your boys are so cute and I can’t wait to squeeze them both. God bless you, Jenny!

  • Kris

    Regression is normal, especially with boys. I would encourage you NOT to go back to the diapers, especially since you know he can do it. My 2nd one was just too busy to go to the potty, especially if he was outside or engrossed in something. He had accidents for a LONG time, unless I was really on it. Just set a timer and make him go every hour until he gets it back. See if that works. And my go-to bloggers? You, definitely! Followed by Grace, Ana, Dwija and Rachel at Testosterhome.

  • Colleen

    You seriously had me laughing out loud with your profanity. It wasn’t expected but completely understandable. I read her post with tears in my eyes. I will never understand abortion as an option. Life is life.
    Also, it would be so cool to have the Duggars in our family. They are such great people and truly love the Lord but I wonder how a little Confession and Adoration would rock.their.world!

  • Kendra Tierney

    1. Potty training is the worst. Mine only ever have accidents if I’m trying to get somewhere on time. I’d roll up the carpets and have him go pants-free before I went back to diapers. If not now, when?

    4. Thanks! I didn’t follow any blogs until I had one of my own, so I’m trying to catch up on finding good ones. ‘Christy’ and ‘Rosie’ both go to Rosie’s blog though.

  • makingthetrek

    You are def among my go-to bloggers.
    Potty training. Probably the biggest reason we stopped at 4 kiddos and next to being 43, why I realllllly don’t know if I can do #5. Grave reason? For the safety of my children and the holding onto a shred of sanity….absolutely.
    Dumbfounded at Dwij’s doctor suggestion. Dumb. Founded. Not sure why I should be….Catholic OBs are HARRRRRRRD to come by.
    Blessings!! And good luck on procuring some Ranch dressing!!

  • Laura Christine

    Hi! First time commenting, I think. Your #5 made me laugh and recall talking w/ my sister in law, over the phone, when she spent a semester in Rome. “You know what I miss?” she asked. We couldn’t guess. She answered, “Ranch dressing.” Guess she’s not the only one. 🙂

  • Becky

    Charlie always completely lost control whenever he was working on another skill. The boy just can’t multitask. So, I would do a lot of laundry for a week and he would suddenly pee in the potty and count to 10- in spanish.

  • Angela Bashaw

    #1 I’m certainly not a pro (just 2 kiddo’s) but my boy was at lot harder to potty train then my girl. Hang in there, he’s bound to get tired of the diaper one day.
    #2 I love that you don’t find out the baby’s sex ahead of time. I think it truly is life’s best surprise.
    #4 Yours is a ‘go to’ for me. First the big cup of coffee caught my eye, and then that you are from Colorado was the clincher. I grew up protestant in Colorado (although now I’m Catholic and live in upstate NY) and was never exposed to any very devout Catholics. So any time I come across a devout Catholic from Colorado, I’m all like “wow, they really were there”. And of course Dwija and Grace. A few of my other favorites are Kelly at “This Ain’t the Lyceum”; Britt at “The Fisk Files”; Tracy at “Making the Trek”; and Fr. Joe’s Sunday homilies at “From Empty Hands”.
    #6 Love the Duggers too.

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