Friday, January 31, 2014

Five on Friday

I've been reading the girl in the red shoes for quite some time and Julie, the author participates in a link up hosted by a. liz adventures, carolina charm, hello! happiness, and the good life blog.  I really enjoy her blog, and the link up as it affords me the opportunity to bounce around checking out new blogs and see what others are enjoying.  So here's my first one!  Here are the 5 things I'm currently into:

1. So before I got married, I had been to Mexican restaurants, but I had never had the white cheese dip... Do you know what I'm talking about?  As if the calories from the chips aren't enough, slathering them with cheese just takes it over the top.  We have yet to find a store bought dip that tastes as good, but this one comes pretty close.  It says mild, but it has a bit of a kick!

2. The Paddington Bear for babyGap Collection is to die for!  I love this sweet footie and may have to buy if for baby S, even if the white freaks me out a little in terms of the potential difficulty of keeping it clean.

3. MOPs totally revamped their blog and magazine and let me just say, it is GORGEOUS!  The design is absolutely stunning.  I've enjoyed the articles for some time and now the redesign just makes it even more enjoyable and inspiring.

4. I have been using cloth napkins lately for a few of our meals in lieu of the paper ones.  It feels a little fancy, but it mostly feels less wasteful.  As of now I only have a set of 6 hand me down ones from my aunt, but I've had my eye on purchasing a few more lately, and these from Target have almost jumped into my online cart a few times.  I think I'd go for the dark ones, as that seems more practical with all the spaghetti sauce that gets consumed around here.

5. My husband bought this little wireless digital thermometer a while ago and I didn't really think we needed it, but I love the convenience that it provides in the winter.  With just a quick glance I know the temperature outside and I know how to dress  the boys to brave the great outdoors.

Happy Friday!  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Boys' Book Bags

I love to read.  My boys love to read.  I have a young preschooler (I refer to him as "A" on the blog) and a baby ("S" on the blog).  My younger son is only a few months old, so he has little say in the matter, but we're working on teaching him to love reading too.  We love to go to the library, but I rarely have time just to browse the shelves because I'm trying to keep an eye on my preschooler and standing in front of a shelf staring at book titles isn't exactly his idea of fun.  Thankfully, my library (like many libraries these days) has their entire catalogue online and I can request books from the comfort of my home and then just pick them up at the circulation desk.  I love to get recommendations of books from other moms and blogs online, so I thought I would make my own lists of recommendaitons.  It would be too difficult to narrow a list down to just a few, so I hope to make this a recurring series in which I share the books my boys are into.  You can probably find all of these on Amazon, but if you're like me and you could spend all your money on books, then keep an eye out for them at yard sales or borrow them from the library.

So withouth further ado...

A's List (Preschool Boy)
1. Read with Me Bible
A LOVES this Bible.  I find that it is written at the perfect level for my young preschooler.  The illustrations are great and we read two of these stories every night.  He INSISTS that we read two.

2. The Complete Adventures of Curious George
Our son cannot get enough of curious George, whether it is the books or the tv show.  This is a collection of the original Curious George stories written by Margret and H. A. Rey.  It is a classic and even though the stories are rather long, they completely hold our son's attention.  The back of this collection also has an informative section with information about Margret and H. A. Rey that I thought was interesting.

3. Curious George Bedtime Stories
This is our second collection of Curious George stories.  These are newer stories, written after the originals.  A loves these as well, and they are shorter than the ones in our original collection.

4. The Monster at the End of this Book
Elmo is by far A's favorite Sesame Street character, but my husband does such an amazing job reading this book with him that he just adores it.

5. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
For some reason my son loves mice.  I don't know why, but he thinks that they are really cute.  

S's List (Baby Boy)
1. Hand Hand Fingers Thumb
This is so delightfully rhythmic that it's quite fun to read to him.  It's very Dr. Seuss-like.  The length is perfect for S's attention span.  

2. Guess How Much I Love You
If there is one thing that I want my boys to know it is that they are loved.  This is just such a gentle, sweet book to read to S before bed.

3. Clifford's Peekaboo
We have four of these Clifford board books and as you can see by the wear on the spine, they are well loved in our family.  

4. The Very Hungry Catterpillar
We have this both in English and in Spanish because it's so enjoyable.  Eric Carle's bright illustrations help keep baby S's attention.

5. Goodnight Moon
This is just the ultimate bedtime book.  I love reading this one to my boys.  It is a classic for good reason.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Hi and welcome to Mary Martha Mama!  I'm Cat and I wear a lot of hats as a 30 something woman, wife, and mama to two little boys.  This blog is something that has been ruminating in my mind and heart for over a year now.  I wanted a place to let out a little creativity and partake in the community of moms out there on the internet.  Why did I choose "Mary Martha Mama" as the title of my blog?  It has to do with all those different hats that I wear on a daily basis.

In the Bible we read several accounts of interaction between Jesus and the sibling group of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Mary is often remembered as the one who sat listening to Jesus' teachings.  I find my identity foremost in my relationship with God.  Before any other role, this is the one that defines me.  I am loved and redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and so I am a Child of God.  As wives and mothers, sometimes our lives are very full, but it is so important and refreshing to stop and listen and focus on our spiritual growth and development.  And so here I hope to stop and reflect, and share about my spiritual life and in particular books and other resources that I find helpful which in turn I hope helps others.

While Mary was sitting and listening, Martha was busy preparing the meal and making the house preparations for the guests.  The home maker part of me really relates to Martha.  I love to make a great meal for others and we are working on making our house a beautiful, comfortable home for our family and guests to enjoy.  Sharing great recipes, cleaning tips, and decorating ideas is so much fun and I am greatly looking forward to it.

I cherish my two boys.  They are absolutely gifts from God.  Having kids is the most rewarding and joyous thing I have ever done, but it is also the most difficult.  Hands down.  No contest.  So many moms out there have helped me by sharing their experiences and ideas that I hope to be able to do that for someone else.  And let me just say, this is a judgement free zone.  A lot of moms out there feel the need to be judgmental about other moms' decisions.  If there is anything that motherhood has taught me, it's not to judge.  Yes, you should feel passionately about your decisions and experiences, but don't assume that your choices are the only correct ones or the right ones for another mom's situation.  We often only see a very small piece of someone else's picture, so we really can't know everything that is going on in that mother's life.  Instead of judging, I want to focus on sharing in the journey of motherhood and helping each other along the way.

I am not terribly original, and I tell my husband that all my best ideas are "stolen" from others, but I always give credit to my sources.  I may not be an expert, but perhaps by sharing my experiences and ideas that I have picked up along the way, then I can help someone else out there too.  So come along with me and let's have some fun along the way.