About Kathleen

Lipstick and Latin and chapel veils.

Things I Learned This Year

  • I can go for 38 weeks and then I am finished. Fi. Nished.
  • My daughter can go for 38 weeks and then she is equally sick of a regular schedule.
  • I am really pretty good at teaching elementary school math and English.
  • I am really pretty bad at faking interest in stupid supplemental books on subjects in which I have advanced degrees.
  • I am a bad mother on days when I wear my pajamas. On those days, I just need to give up and be nice to my kids and accept that nothing is going to get accomplished.
  • Taking care of myself spiritually is the biggest change we made this year, and it’s been the best thing.
  • Similarly, living according to the liturgical year has been a blessing to our whole family.
  • Ditto for going to weekday Mass occasionally.
  • At least, I think it is. They’re still horribly behaved in Mass.
  • I need chunks of time off after holidays to recover.
  • I need chunks of wine after the holidays to recover. (Sorry, wrong list.)
  • I really really dislike most American history books.
  • I really really love hearing my babies say prayers in Latin.
  • I can convince a seven-year-old that flash cards are a game. 😂😂😂
  • Cuddles in the morning before our day begins? Best thing ever.

A Buddy Tale, Part 2

So some of my friends suggested websites to track down an original Super Why cereal box to hide the FAKE AND DISGUSTING cereal in it. I had thought of this but didn’t realize there were still any places to get such a thing.

So! $12 later, I had a dented box of cereal with the Super Why guy on it (does he have a name? I don’t know.) from Amazon and an evil plan in my head.

First, Buddy refused to eat even the real Super Why cereal, having been burned by my attempts to keep him nourished before. 

After I convinced him that this was the good stuff, he devoured the box. 

Now. The moment of truth. I switched the bags. Would he believe it was the same if he could see the box? We all know the the did not appreciate being given the cereal with the offending box hidden in the cabinet. 

I poured the bowl in front of him. He eagerly picked up his spoon. 

And froze.

“Mommy, did not super why cereal.”

“No buddy! It is! See????”

“*sobs brokenly* No! It’s not! Will you turn it back to normal please???”

So. That went well. 

A Buddy Tale

So Buddy loves this one kind of cereal. And by loves, I mean to the exclusion of all other cereals. One morning when we ran out he literally had a bowl of milk for breakfast.

Like a cat.

(Not my proudest moment, but meh. Whatever. He’s alive and milk is healthy. I think that’s a win.)

The cereal is AlphaBits with the Super Why guy on the box. It is only sold at select Targets, and on target.com. I am trying to avoid Target because it turns out I’m literally just a mom blog post come to life and I can’t leave without a throw pillow or something and I’m trying really hard to stick to a budget because my husband is so much better with money than I am and I already feel badly because I don’t bring anything in and I literally just spend everything because I’m in charge of the household and…whoa. That got real.

ANYWAY.

I buy them online every few months, in packages of ten boxes. Then shipping is free and we avoid any other embarrassing cat-like moments.

So imagine my horror when my most recent order arrived on my doorstep. I opened the box. And…where the f&*( is Super Why??? Who are these pirate people. WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING. They changed sponsors. Oh. Oh no.

Oh. This is not going to be good.

I quickly hid the boxes. The cereal looks almost exactly the same, a little bit bigger perhaps. It tastes the same. (Saccharine and annoying.) It’s okay. I can just serve it to him in a bowl and he’ll never notice.

First meal with new “Super Why” AlphaBits. I slide the bowl in front of Buddy and he eagerly picks up his spoon…

…and stops dead in his tracks. He stares at the bowl. He stares at me. He picks up a a letter and smells it. (I KNOW OKAY. BUT I CANNOT DEAL WITH ANY MORE THERAPY RIGHT NOW.)

He takes several deep whiffs. He places it on his lips. (Not his tongue.) He puts it back in the bowl and glares at me accusingly.

“Mommy. Dis not SuperWhy cereal.”

Head, meet desk.

“Buddy! It is! It’s SuperWhy cereal! See! It’s all your letters!’

“No. Dis not SuperWhy cereal. I have milk in a bowl?”

So excuse me while I got research Target’s return policy for TEN BOXES OF ALPHABITS.

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Joiner

For only sharing half of their genetic makeup, my children are remarkably similar. They look the same, especially as babies. They react in much the same way to frustrations. They both have picked up my facial expressions, which is hilarious and horrifying. They both ate anything in a soy sauce marinade before any other adult flavor. They have the oddest sense of fashion I have ever encountered. 

They’re both, of course, perfect. 

There is one way in which the genetics totally tells, though. My daughter is brilliant, outgoing, and would join a hiking group through the Himalayas because she just loves to be with people all the time! Doing things! 

My son is brilliant, outgoing, and would be content cuddling with me on the couch doing nothing with no one for the next thirty years.

My daughter resembles all the stories I’ve heard about her biological mother- fun and people-loving and always interested in a fun activity.

My son resembles me, who sometimes thinks about when I used to think I was going to die alone and wonders what was so bad about that?

I really, really don’t like doing things. I love my friends. I love getting together with them. I really do. But if you ask me for an example of a perfect day, it will involve my book and my coffee and maaaaybe my husband but that is definitely it. I’m totally happy being by myself and doing things at home.

I was like that as a kid too. I really loved things I could do myself- horseback riding and gymnastics and reading. I really hated things I had to do in a group- 4H and Girl Scouts and…conventional education.

Buddy is a lot like that. For instance, we’ve gone to a few homeschooling groups. Squeaks runs away from me to join the crowd and learn stuff and make glittery crap I’m going to have to throw away after she goes to bed.

Buddy is either flat on the floor in political prisoner mode refusing to move, or throwing the biggest most embarrassing fit ever. 

(Have you ever seen a group of homeschoolers? THEY’RE PERFECTLY BEHAVED.) 

It’s gotten to a point where I’ve had to stop threatening him with going home when he’s misbehaving because he immediately beams and says, “OKAY!” 

So I signed him up for toddler gymnastics with some trepidation. I figured it would be 30 minutes of me cajoling him into the gym, assuring him that running around like a crazy person was in fact a super fun way to spend the afternoon, and then barricading the door so he couldn’t get out and run for home.

We got there yesterday a few minutes early. I watched him carefully for signs of clinginess, half wanting them, figuring at least then I could go home and get dinner going. (I’m still not a joiner.) 

Instead he puffed up his chest and said, “Me not scared. Me brave.” Okay then.


And then he proceeded to run after the teacher and do everything he was supposed to and generally act like a normal kid who was happy to be doing something other than watching Pocoyo while sitting on my head to get as close to me as possible.


Maybe he is a joiner a little bit too. 

What even am I?

I’ve spent a lot of this last academic year changing my mind and figuring out what I think about things. A lot has changed in the last year- in the world, in the church, in my family, and even in my children.

We’re in a…precarious position in the United States. We’re in a…precarious position as traditional Catholics. Seven and four is way different than six and three for kids in terms of needing explanations for things.

So it make sense that this blog, which has always been an opportunity for me to vomit on the computer screen whatever it is I’m thinking of or worrying about make it remotely funny, has been changing a little bit this year too. I finally made my mind up that I would post regularly on Tuesday and Thursday, mostly because I love a schedule. But I dabbled in makeup and stuff and…meh.

I’m not a beauty blogger. I won’t ever be a real beauty blogger. I realized I just don’t care enough. It’s not my passion. I love makeup. It’s super fun. I’m still going to write about fun new makeup I get and stuff if it makes sense to, but I realized that I’m not a beauty blogger.

I feel like we hit our stride with homeschooling this year. Last year was such a mess with me being…a mess, and Squeaks being…a mess, and just…well, mess. This year though, we’ve been great. I’ve made an effort to take care of myself spiritually too, which has completely changed the way I relate to my kids and their education.

I love homeschooling. I’m super happy homeschooling. I love writing about how it impacts our family, and the changes it has led to in our family.

I love exploring my faith and growing even deeper in my knowledge of the Church. So long I was focused on academic understanding, and that’s great. It has helped me so much to understand the history of the Church. But in the last year I’ve begun to experience it more fully and I love that. I love writing about that.

I have an opportunity to start writing for a Catholic blog, and I’m super excited to begin that.

It won’t change anything here- I’m still going to post twice a week with ridiculous things that cross my mind. But it did make me realize that this is who I am. I’m a homeschooling mom who loves the Catholic Church who swears sometimes. And also likes a good long-wearing eyeliner.

And I’m fine with that. I don’t need a YouTube channel and a go pro and followers. I love just writing about what is really important to me right now at this season of my life.

It’s a good thing. 

Guys it’s time for my favorite part of the month! Reading Martha Stewart Living and hating myself!

I like to think of myself as a Martha Stewart girl. I genuinely love entertaining. I love pretty things. I can organize the heck out of just about anything. I use washi tape in my planner. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO MARTHA. MAKE ME YOUR SERVANT.

But then the actual reality of my life does not always (i.e., never) actually match up with the story in my head. My kids eat almost exclusively Super Why cereal. I love to entertain but it’s super hard to find babysitters. Most of my pretty things have had to be moved away from little grubby hands. I can organize tons of crap, but only because if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t even be able to put pants on most days.

I only use washi tape in my planner because I so frequently write things down incorrectly.

Tonight might be a new low, though. I’m reading this while eating cold pizza on a kids plate I pulled out of the (maybe clean?) dishwasher. And it’s the March issue. It’s the end of April. Like, the last day of April. Oh well.


Anyway! Let’s begin shall we???


Letter from the Editor- always a good start. The pretty bland lady clad entirely in white and leaning against a chair or something has words of wisdom JUST FOR ME, right? I’m sure she does. Oh, this month it’s about how she had to stop emailing people back all day long and enjoy her meals.

Um, okay. I’ll get on that as soon as someone other than Amazon emails me and I’m past the eating-cold-kid-leftovers season of my life.


Oh! Here’s a story on entertaining! Martha created a space-themed birthday party bonanza for her grandkids. For my children, I stuck a Curious George figure on a cake, bought a bunch of the really big bottles of wine, uncorked them, let 30 people allegedly related to me into my house, and sat outside drinking with my mom.

Funny, no one took pictures.

Nope. This will not be cute. This will look like you’re putting cheap mirrors on a pizza cutting board. Even I, in my pajamas and cold pizza, think that’s ridiculous.


YAAAAS MARTHA. Here  is a trend I can get behind. Peel off wallpaper. I’m still scarred from scraping wallpaper off of EVERY WALL IN THIS HOUSE with a screwdriver. A SCREWDRIVER. YES. YOU READ THAT RIGHT.

So hey. I am all behind peel off wallpaper. Sign me up, Martha.

I mean, not me. Because right now I have pizza grease on my hands. But still.


Probs not very, Martha. Did you read the beginning of the post?


I want to be in the season of my life where I can spend $104 on a pen to make grocery lists. I’m still using the $10.99 pack I got for a baby shower a few years ago.


Easy. Don’t get cats. They’re Satan’s minions.


For even easier grating, buy a bag of grated cheese.


I don’t know, I always thought that I was pretty boring and white bread, but maybe I’m more on the edge than I thought. Because I have never felt like breakfast for dinner was rebellious.


Ooh! Yes! I want a vegetable garden! I have super fun images of myself wandering my gorgeous backyard in capris and cute flats with a hoe or something. Gathering my zucchini, etc, etc, etc. Imma read this.


Oh. Looks like a lot of steps. there’s like a whole part about figuring out where to put it. You don’t just buy containers and seeds and go to town?


Oh wow a building project too. Nope.


Oh, you’ve got to like plan it. Huh. That seems like a lot of work.  Also, last frost date? Bahahahha I live in the frozen tundra, bitch. I’ll let you know what weekend in June our last frost is.


I like how they combine all the actual work (or what I thought was the actual work) into one step right at the end. JUST TAKE CARE OF THEM AND GATHER THEM UP AND MAKE DINNER. IT’S FINE. IT’S JUST ONE STEP. YOU CAN DO IT.

You know what, maybe I’m not at the vegetable-garden season of my life either.


You know, I’ve always wanted a family friendly safari. For when I REALLY can’t stand my kids and want them to be eaten by lions. 

Oooh the last page is always collections. Or, as I like to call it- Shit Your Grandkids Are Going to Throw Away When You Die. While peeling your wallpaper off. This month- Little Crappy Boxes that You Can’t Fit Anything In But For Some Reason Even I have Like Ten of Them.


Also a turtle.

Oily Foundation. But, like, a good kind.

I’ve been in love with Tarte’s Maracuja oil for about a few months now. I got a little one in my ipsy bag and I loved it so much that I replaced it. For years I was doing Philosphy Hope in a Jar for day/night, but I started  using this oil at night instead. 


GUYS. It’s amazing.

I barely ever break out anymore, and if I do it’s always hormonal if you know what I mean. I feel like my skin is softer and younger looking, and my wrinkles on my forehead are decreased. 

But this week I tried something new- mixing it with my foundation. And guess what?

ITS AMAZING.

For the record, I used a beauty blender for all applications, since it’s the easiest way to seamlessly blend two liquids. 

First I tried it with tarte’s Water foundation. This is a nice, medium coverage foundation that already sits pretty well on my skin. Not too many problems with it being cakey.

But with two drops of the oil? Omg. This ish is amazing. It’s luminous, and blends right into my skin. 


I also tried it with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Foundation. I love this foundation but I really struggle with it being too cakey and sinking in to the fine lines under my eyes and on my forehead. 

But with the oil? NOTHING. I know. It did tone down the coverage a little bit but not the long-wearing potential- this still looked good at 10 at night. 


Super cool trick to make heavy foundations more wearable for daytime.

Finally, I made a cream blush with it and the Too Faced blush. Not great, but a pretty luminous finish.

Turning into my mom.

I am lucky enough to live a few towns away from my mom. Which is amazing, because I tend to not do too well at the whole “having a baby” thing or the “being by myself thing” or the “being a not-sad grownup” thing.

It’s nice to have her there to help.

And recently, I’ve noticed a fun trick she’s developed. She is able to throw her voice ten miles and have it come out of my mouth!

I know! Surely it’s not that it turns out that LITERALLY EVERY ONE OF MY OPINIONS IS HER OPINION.

I mean, it’s not a bad thing. I’ve always wanted to be like my mom. She’s an amazing woman. I just…didn’t realize that LITERALLY EVERYTHING I SAID WOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN SAID TO ME TEN YEARS AGO.

Here are some things I’ve said recently that made me think my mom had moved into my kitchen and started wearing a lot of leggings and tunics and developed an unhealthy interest in my husband.

Kid: “I’m done!”

Me: “No, you’re finished. You are not a turkey.”

~~~

“Oh! This is the most beautiful card you’ve ever given me!” (About a not-great card.)

~~~

“I just feel like the Extraordinary Form is timeless, you know?”

~~~

“Guys. This is not picked up. Seriously.”

~~~

“You can’t wear a two-piece swimsuit until you turn 18.”

~~~

“Because it’s not proper, that’s why,”

~~~

“Is that how a young lady is supposed to act?”

~~~

“I just feel like Amoris Laetitia leads down a bad road unless it’s clarified, you know?”

~~~

“Oh! This is the most beautiful…what is this honey? Can you tell me about it?”

~~~

“Fr. Martin got appointed to what now? *does non-celebratory shot*”

~~~

“Guys. Seriously. What part of this room do you think is picked up?”

~~~

“I got this super cool thing on QVC!”

~~~

“GUYS. THE THINGS ON THE FLOOR NEED TO BE PICKED UP.”

~~~

“Oh yay, such a beautiful piece of paper. I looooove it. Put it on my desk okay?”

~~~

“This is my favorite episode of Fixer Upper.”

~~~

“Sit down. We’re saying a family rosary.”

~~~

“You should be thankful that you’re homeschooled and get to learn so much fun stuff! When you get to college you’re going to be such a self-starter!” (As I’m forcing my kid to write sentences in cursive in Latin.)

~~~

“Purple sparkles are really fun! Just not for walls.”

~~~

“No, sorry, girls can’t get tattoos.”

~~~

“No, motorcycles are not fun at all. They are dangerous and sad.”

~~~

“Is that what Jesus would do? I didn’t think so.”

~~~

“Would you watch that with Mary sitting next to you? I didn’t think so.”

~~~

“Honey, should we watch Newhart or Night Court tonight?”

And hey- my dad can do it too!

“I know you’re tired and scared. Pray to the Blessed Mother!”

Ipsy April Unbagging

Okay, Ipsy. You’re back in my good graces this month.

Well, not because of the packaging. That’s just stupid. A sideshow ticket? What are we, fourteen? But lucky for you I don’t even need any more ipsy bags so I can find it whimsical and ridiculous instead of ridiculous and annoying.

(Dodged a bullet there, ipsy.)

The products were overall quite good too! I know.


I received a Ciate bronzer, Lisa Frank angled face brush, Tonymoly Liptone lip balm, a nail polish duo, and Hanolai Aloe gel.

I have no use for the aloe gel, really. It feel pleasant on my face, but I don’t think I could ever really work it in to my facial care routine.

And I’m apparently the only girl from the 1990s that didn’t love Lisa Frank with every fiber of my being (maybe because I was homeschooled…we weren’t terribly trendy lol) and so I’m not like lining up to spend money on mediocre brushes because they’re pink and shiny and have a freaking unicorn on them.

(I’m the mother of a seven-year-old girl. EVERYTHING in my life has a freaking unicorn on it.)

It’s a fine brush though. I used it with the bronzer, and it was…a perfectly fine face brush.

The bronzer was good I thought. Cool toned, which is something I need as a pasty, pasty lady. Buildable coverage, if I wanted to ever build it up. (But I don’t, because I’m a pasty pasty lady.) Would consider buying full sized if I didn’t already have a bazillion bronzers and crap floating around in my makeup closet.


The nail polish duo is also pretty good- I like the dusky blue best, but that’s just personal preference. I’m not much a nude girl. I used it with a gel coat covering and it worked well.

The winner this month was the Tonymoly (which is fun to say) Liptone lip balm. I got the rose colored one, and it’s really pretty. Not really even colored, but just a little sheer rosy maybe? I don’t know, I feel like my lips look better with it on, but maybe that’s just because they’re moisturized.

It moisturizes really well- as good as anything I’ve been able to find other than Dr. Lipp’s Miracle Balm. (Which is, let’s be honest, medical grade lanolin. So just get yourself from nipple cream and save $10.)

Definitely smells and tastes (if you lick your lips like I do) like rose though, so make sure you like the scent.

4/5 ipsy. Well done!