Monday, March 31, 2008

Just Say No to Drugs

As my Little Dearest is no closer to sleeping through the night than she was 8 months ago, I live my life permanently sleep deprived. When I say that I mean Sleep-Deprived-Like-I-Never-Knew-In-College-Walking-Zombie-Displaying-Alzheimer's-Symptoms Tired. All moms can identify with this to varying degrees. If you are the One who's children have all slept through the night since 1 week of age then please don't let me know; I am not virtuous enough not to spit at the mention of your name forever or try my hand at Voodoo. If you have 7 children sleeping in your bed and have not experienced REM since you were 15, then you are welcome to stop in for a chat. We might be on the same intellectual level and carry on a meaningful conversation over coffee pots while we try to find our brains.

Many people understand that I am dramatizing. But what fun would it be if I was not? Then again, do you really know for sure that I am? I am not sure some days whether I vacuumed my floors or if Bella is just getting really good at finding crumbs.

On the weekends Patrick is really amazingly wonderful at helping out. I have 2 nights that he gets up with Isabella and maintains the "ferberizing" until it is time for her to eat. This past weekend, however, we established the 11th Commandment: No NyQuil On Weekends.

The first time she wakes up it is very shortly after we've gone to bed and Patrick goes to talk/reassure and comes back and promptly falls asleep. The next time she woke up, however, the NyQuil had kicked in. I go in, knowing he's tired, but can't find the *#$% pacifier.

"Honey, Pat! "
"Did she have the pacifier in bed with her?" (I want to find it and hand it to her quickly and resume process, or at least know that it was missing and she would deal without it.)
Patrick sits upright and whines loudly and agitatedly "I have been up with her every 10 minutes for the past hour and I'm just tired and can't think" and starts to schlump out of the room.
me: "WHAT??? No, this is the first time she's woken up since you went in the one time!"

He brushes past me, walks into Bella's room, TURNS ON THE LIGHT, GRABS the PACIFIER, and WITHOUT a WORD TO HER comes back out and HANDS THE PACIFIER TO ME. ... ... ?huh?

So now I have a ticked and delusional husband, a screaming wide-awake infant, and a pacifier in MY hand. and it's 1:30am. Okay, get a good picture of a dramatic teenage girl in your mind - Patrick stalks downstairs grumbling that he can't sleep with all the noise. I may not have been so gentle when I said I could only handle one child at night and he just didn't rank.

Fast-forward past an hour of Isabella crying, and Patrick and I are both back in bed, him still mumbling incoherently. Patrick had very little recollection of this the following morning, which I think is good. You must realize that what made this story so very amusing, is this behavior was VERY out-of-character for my overly logical, level-headed, and patient husband.

So next weekend my poor, hard-working, self-sacrificing husband has to find a better solution to an overnight cough, and I have to remember that "a little dopey" is not its side-effect on him.

Story reprinted with express permission of involved parties.

Yes Mommy CAN!

I just read a very encouraging and insightful blog post from one of my favorite blogger/authors, the Montessori Mommy of 12! She talks about how today's culture seems to pressure parents into believing that professionals know better than mommies. Now we all know better than that, right?! But the truth is that we all face our doubts and questions every day. When someone who has a degree/license tells us what is best for our kids, there is a little voice in our brain that says "maybe they're right." The important thing is to let the louder Voice be the Holy Spirit giving us confidence in the vocation to which God has called us, knowing without a doubt that He equips us with the grace to handle anything and He guides our hands and hearts.

Who knows when something is wrong with your child? When she's crying who knows what will dry her tears? When he's angry who understands his triggers, or what discipline is appropriate for his temper? Even as a licensed health professional I know without a doubt that MOMMY knows when baby is sick. Just because you don't have the training to medically assess that doesn't mean that your gut isn't telling you that he has an ear infection.

Now professionals are good resources, important support in the care for your child! If you choose to send your child to school instead of homeschool then you are trusting that professional to teach your child. And they will. We trust doctors to treat our child's illnesses and check their normal growth. And that's what they are trained to do! Sometimes even we have to trust their instincts, which is a different kind of challenge, when there is a fine line between a "slow learner" and a disability of some sort. God gives these people skills and guides their hands, too. My prayer is that they are open to His guidance to support their knowledge.

The key here is to balance your reliance on professionals and your confidence in your knowledge and instincts as PARENT. No one else knows and LOVES your child like you do!

I encourage you to read this post for some intelligent thoughts from a faith-filled Mommy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I would like the thank the Academy

Who would have guessed that my silly little nonesense blog would be nominated for the Annual Catholic Blog Awards? (answer: my husband, thank you Patrick! You are too generous.)

More astounding is that people voted for me! I received votes in both the "Best New Catholic Blog" and the "Best Individual Catholic Blog" categories! (And, that same darling husband forgot to vote at all.) That means that there are actually people who read about my precious Isabella and my mindless commentary!

So, to my 4 fans, a hearty "Thank You!" ... and make sure you read something more interesting sometimes!

"They like me! They really like me!"

Alleluia, Happy Easter (octave)

Alleluia, He Is Risen!

I hope that every one's Easter was blessed and Joyous. You know, when we wish "Happy" Easter, I think that does not quite cut it. To the best of our abilities and through our best efforts, we have been through 40 days of fasting and penance. We've just reflected on the Passion and Death of our Saviour and entered into the remembrance of His Divine Love and Ultimate Sacrifice. Then we celebrate the EMPTY TOMB, the TRIUMPH over evil and sin and death. so...

Joyous, Jubilant Easter, everyone!

We experienced a wonderful Triduum at our Alma mater , a true spiritual blessing. Holy Thursday is celebratory and humbling, as you watch the holy friars wash the students' feet and then celebrate the Eucharist. Good Friday service is chanted, including the entire reading of the Gospel, which maintains an aura befitting such a solemn liturgy. Saturday brings an opportunity to reflect on the emptiness of Christ's absence from the Tabernacle. Then... The Vigil is, well, the event of the year! After a richly spiritual build-up, the joy that explodes throughout the church (OK, fieldhouse, their chapel can't hold the thousand people that attend!) is unrivalled anywhere else! There is no subdued celebrating going on here!

Isabella did not have quite the favorable impression, of course, but all in all she did quite well. She took the shortest little nap while I was getting ready, leaving her wide awake even before Mass began! She watched and played and squirmed. She does NOT like baptisms there, though. I would say that the congregation there echoes the heavenly celebration with the birth of each new Christian. The applause that erupted after each baptism (there were 3) made her BURST into tears! She would just recover as another one happened! Poor little girl! After that, though, she was able to fall asleep.

Easter Sunday we drove back home to continue the feast with my family, all gathered 'round the parents' house, like usual. Sugar highs and pretty dresses - I love Easter!

Don't you just love my favorite little Easter Bunny?

Alleluia, Indeed He Is Risen!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

First Haircut!

Can you believe how long that hair is???
*snip* With every snip she would turn her head excitedly to see what was going on. "Huh, I want to see!"Hi!Wow! It's so short! What a difference! It kind of looks like a "baby-bob", and is really cute. Although the picture belies the fact, it is not very even. See above comment on how well she held her head still. :)


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Today's Reflections

My deep thoughts for the day, meant to underwhelm and perspire. Wait - Inspire, Overwhelm. Yeah, that's what I meant.

-Why do vegetables stain SO badly? I spent a lot of time working on the stains from her newborn cothes, mostly of the post-digestion variety. Why was I not warned that despite the largest bibs known to man, 8 months later I would have orange and green smears on everything? Pink and green are known to compliment each other, but not in this way I am sure.

- 900 channels and nothing to watch while I work out. Today Lord I am thankful for a DVR.

- I love classical music. I was listening to a particularly familiar piece, thinking about the composer. Thinking of these great genius minds who dedicated their time and talent to the great art that is classical music. These great scores were probably their life's work, their sweat and inspiration to transcend time. And yet, we sit there thinking "Beef, it's what's for dinner!!!" Poor Copeland.
Staying with the classical music theme, this reminded me of a time a few months ago riding in the car listening to the radio. I had the classical station on (not usually my choice for driving music, but it's amazing what a colicky infant will do to your habits) and was struck by the familiarity of the tune that came on. Yet I could not quite place it. I listened intently for several minutes before it dawned on me - Yes! This was a tune on her play mat! Somehow I think that while these artistic geniuses were creating their masterpieces they were NOT thinking "I hope I'm forever remembered by TV commercials and Baby Einstein."

Monday, March 10, 2008

My First Day at the Park

As I write this it is freezing cold outside. Saturday we had such terrific winds that much of our little town lost power. But I am taking a few minutes to transport myself back to last Monday, when it was in the high 60s and we took our little Dumplin to the park. Don't you love how prompt I am with this? Seriously, if I wrote a newspaper it would be called "Old News" or "Last Month's Happenings." But the pictures are so cute they're worth posting anyways.

Although I am hesitant to scare you with pictures of myself, I had to talk about how much Bella loved the slide. As all babies do, she held her breath as the air hit her face, and then she started "jumping" and cooing at the end. Every time. She was SO happy!

In the crawl-through tunnel: not a big hit, she was not impressed. The unfortunate part of this is that means Mama had to go try to coax her through. It's a good thing that I was the one holding the camera and that there is no physical evidence of such sights.

It's hard to get good facial expressions in pictures sometimes, espcially when she is spending her time babbling. She was happy and really enjoying it, despite the funny looks that grace all of the pictures. She does look rather silly in that swing - she's just so little!

Who's brilliant idea was it to put the 8-month-old who puts everything in her mouth IN THE SAND??? Oh, wait, that would be Daddy's. That's why we love Daddies and why kids need them. Otherwise they may not have the opportunity for all that nasty exposure until they're at least in preschool. I have to say, she was cute to watch as she tried out the new texture. And, for the record, no actual sand entered her mouth. (Yes, Patrick, you were right.) Her clothes were filthy! And she was one happy little girl.
It was the best way we could have spent the time together. Fresh air, lots of smiles, happiness! There is nothing in the world better than that.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Uncomfortable Lent

That phrase should be redundant, but unfortunately it isn't often. I am really good at finding a physical sacrifice every year, but about halfway through Lent I discover that my spiritual growth has been lacking. This Lent, however, I have an awesome meditation that fits right into that "uncomfortable" description. Thanks to my mother-in-law, an incredible and spiritual woman, I have maybe the most uncomfortable reflection ever. So in case anyone else is too comfortable or complacent this Lent, I thought I'd share.

Mother Teresa (you know it's going to be awesome when it's from her!) to her Sisters:

"God needs our poverty, not our abundance. The means of being HUMBLE:

-speak as little as possible about oneself

- take care of one's personal matters

- avoid curiosity

- do not meddle in the afairs of others

- accept contradiction with good humor

- do not focus on the faults of others

- accept reproach, even if undeserved

- yield to the will of others

- accept insults and abuse

- accept feeling uncared for, forgotten, despised

- be courteous and sensitive, even if someone provokes you

- do not try to be admired and loved

- do not hide behind one's own dignity

- yield in arguments, even if one is right

- always choose what is most difficult "

"The joy of the poor -

Strive to be the demonstration of God in the midst of your community. We have to radiate the joy of being poor, with no need for words. We must be happy in our poverty."

So if that sounded pretty simple, then you're not thinking about it enough. Anyone else just a little more uncomfortable in their Lent now? Everyone can use a little more spiritual emptying to truly prepare their heart for the Joy of the Resurrection!