Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Best Laid Plans...

On my "to-do" list for today:

change sheets
put away girls' laundry
clean bathroom
water plants
clean my side of the dresser
trip to thrift store to donate large piles
change Isabella's sheet

Actually accomplished:

slept in beside intermittently-nursing Anastasia
watched old "7th Heaven" episode
updated blog
read blogs and facebook
changed sheets due to absolute necessity after sick baby last night
went to Mass with Patrick and girls
took a nap
updated Baby books

The roaming GI bug hit our house last night; Mama and Anastasia were the casualties. Of course that means Patrick did not get a whole lot of sleep, either. He took a sick day to take care of us today, and my plans were shot. On the other hand, when else do I have an excuse to sit in bed alone and write in the girls' baby books?

Maybe once a month I could have a sick day... just without the sick.

Morning Prayer

Dear God,

So far today I've done alright. I haven't gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy or grumpy, been nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent. I'm very thankful for that.

But in a few minutes, God, I'm going to get out of this bed, and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help.


~ Author Unknown

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vacuum Salesman

On Good Friday I was treated to a free vacuum and shampooing of my carpet. At least that's what they told me. The door-to-door salespeople struck, yet another glorious perk to living in suburbia. *note sarcasm* I was assured that the only reason was because these hard-working, 9-month-employees (hey, I can make a baby in that amount of time; beat that!) were competing for a prize based on how many carpets they cleaned. blah blah blah. Sure, fine, you can clean my living room but I'm not buying anything and you have 45 minutes to get the heck outta here so I can fix dinner and make it to church.

They have a scripted sales pitch from which to work. I have a healthy store of sarcasm and no shame.

college-aged salesboy: Why, I see you have a Dyson. You paid a good $800 for that, didn't you?

Me: "My kid is outside playing in a cardboard box and feeding the infant dandelions, do we look like a family that pays that kind of ridiculous money for a vacuum? It's a rebuilt internet special."

Naive Kid: "You learned of it through a commercial, or..."

Me: "My brother says it cleans up after his big shedding monster of a dog, so we figured it might work alright for kids."

Smiling salesboy, changing direction: "Let me ask you, when you vacuum do you clean to get all the dirt up, most of the dirt up, or just some of the dirt up?" (what the heck kind of question is that?)

Me: "I'm usually pretty happy if I can't see anymore ground-up goldfish and cheerios."

Him, still trying: "Now when your vacuum breaks what do you plan to do?"

Me: "Stop cleaning altogether and teach the kids to eat the crumbs off the floor."

The poor guy gave up, did his little 5 minute demo, and then shampooed half of my carpet. My sister-in-law looked at the price and declared that if it did dishes and played with kids she'd buy 3. I would have been happy if it came with someone once a week to work it. As it was, my carpet was very thoroughly vacuumed and the kids were happily entertained while I made dinner. Not too bad, I say.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Easter!

Alleluia! Indeed He Is Risen!
In this blog of old news, I'm glad that some things, no matter how tardy I am in posting, are never old news. Thanks be to God for the glory of the Resurrection!

Although I approached Easter Vigil Mass with some trepidation, as Bella is not, per say, the quietest toddler out there and a 2.5 hour Mass will push anyone's patience, grace was overflowing that night; not only did my brother and his girlfriend join us, but Isabella was absolutely wonderful. No, there is no other way to put it; she was pleasant ad patient and playful, and chatty. Note, I did not say she was quiet, I simply said she was exceptionally well-behaved for the time frame with which we were working.

Easter morning was cozy, as Bella was still tired enough from the late night to sleep in... in
between Mama and Daddy! She snuggled right up and went back to sleep; Anastasia was also fast asleep beside me. It was a “snuggle bed” as Bella calls it.

The post-slumber haze was shook quickly when she discovered the contents of her Easter basket! Nothing says "Happy Easter Morning" like jelly beans and Smarties!

After nap we headed to my folks' for more festivities. Bella turned out to love the Easter egg hunt, especially once she discovered they opened to reveal chocolate!

Itried to get get cute posed pics, but to no avail. Seems they simply wanted to keep playing; imagine that.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blessed Triduum

Lent is over, but let no rejoicing come from our lips quite yet. Today, Holy Thursday, we celebrate that Our Lord gives Himself to us in perfect Love in the Eucharist. Tomorrow we commemorate His Passion and Death, His ultimate act of Unconditional Love. Saturday we dwell on the emptiness of a world without Christ's Presence. All in great anticipation of His Triumph!

Remember that Friday is the best day of fasting of the year. For this nursing mama that will mean small simple meals and no snacks, no comforts, and as much silence from 12 noon to 3pm as possible.

Easter Sunday is the greatest FEAST, the Feast of Feasts! So live it up, and I'll see you back here next week for more updates on the kids.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Week

Has anyone else noticed that Palm Sunday is MUCH LONGER when you have a toddler? People keep telling me that it's only a few extra minutes, but I know that they are lying. I'm certain that Mass on Sunday was about 3 hours long, and that does not leave me with much hope for Saturday night. But more about that later.

Passion Sunday is actually, despite the presence of those loud kids in the front row (oh wait, those were mine) a day of some of my favorite Readings. The power of the Paul's words that "Every knee shall bow, in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:6-11) gives me goosebumps. The reading of the Passion, although traditionally not best enjoyed while nursing on a folding chair in the ladies' room, was easier to hear this year. Too often I look around me at the people who are reading the account like any other words on a page, as I am one of them. This year, stuck in said bathroom, there were only the voices through the speakers recounting this incredible story just to me. In many ways I heard it for the first time in a long time this year, and the power was not lost on me. Back in the pew, however, I was too busy keeping the palms out of the lady's face behind us to remember anything that Father said in his homily. Whose idea was it anyways to give toddlers long branches in church?!?

Yesterday evening we ventured to St. Mary's Cathedral in Baltimore for the Chrism Mass, which was beautiful!!! I am so deeply touched watching the procession of the priests from all over our diocese as they prepare to renew their priestly vows. This must be a highlight of their year, to celebrate their priesthood, the beauty of their vocation, as a group of brother priests. As they processed, (while comforting the over-tired, sick Anastasia) I couldn't help but think of our Blessed Mother watching her men come to her Son's table together. They radiate like a couple approaching the alter to renew their wedding vows, and we should be thankful daily for the gift they are to our Church!

Interestingly, I read after a long day of intense cleaning yesterday that traditionally Holy Week was a time of serious cleaning and de-cluttering to prepare your heart and your home for the greatest celebration of our year! So I am continuing that a little more today, happy to have a spiritual reason behind the physical labor and already seeing the fruits! I have mixed feelings about how to celebrate the Triduum this year, as it will be the first in many that we have not been at FUS for their fantastic celebration. Do we try the Vigil with Bella? (She did great last year.) We really want our kids to grow up with a love of the Liturgy, and they will never learn if we don't start. Just pray for us. :)

Just to note, by the way, that the girls really did fantastic at Palm Sunday and Chrism Masses, despite my cynical comments. Bella played happily and was very cooperative; Bella is just not the quietest child there is, that's all. I was very happy to have her with me, especially when 1) Patrick was there with me, and 2) the organ music was so loud you couldn't hear her above it very well.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quick Takes 8

Hello Friday! Praise God, we made it through another week of sick little girls. Well, Bella is better with just lingering rhinorrhea. Poor little Anastasia has earned the nickname of Whining Puppy given her congested little squeaking. We are going to start growing tropical plants in Bella's room with this constant use of the humidifier; it's seriously a rain forest in there.
R.I.P., Mr. Laptop. My computer officially died - completely, no resurrection possible. My Darling Husband stayed up one night until midnight fiddling with it, but for naught. For the past several weeks, maybe a few months, I have complaining about the darn thing, but of course now I miss it. Currently I am relegated to using an even older laptop to save myself the peril of facing Hubby's office (not-so-affectionately called "The Dungeon" - get the picture?) I am very grateful, of course. Never mind the fact that it it slower than molasses in winter. Nope, I am one grateful person, who will be even happier when we save up to buy a new one. :)
Anastasia started reaching for things this week! I love the developmental changes in infants, as they are so fast and exciting! The good news is that she does not seem interested in wiggling and moving all that much, and is instead content to lie still smiling, babbling, and watching the world around her. Soon enough she will face the fact that movement may be necessary for survival, but until then I'm thrilled.
Is anyone else sick and tired of the weather we're having in schizophrenic MD? Yesterday was supposed to be sunny and warm according to the infallable (haha!) meteorologists, and instead was damp and nasty with the shortest break in the clouds during nap time. Today started out with a beautiful thunderstorm, and now (nap time again!) is sunny and WARM!
Patrick is quick to remind me that this is par for the course in lovely Maryland, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
Bath Time Lessons: A child needs only a cup and spoon to be thoroughly entertained for 35 minutes. Today Bella asked for a spoon while she was in the bath, which was a first. I must have asked the poor child to repeat herself 5 times before I understood that she really was requesting a spoon out of the blue like that. No, we don't usually have utensils in the bath, but whatever. She "mixed" and "stirred" (her words) and ate the bubbles. Now she's been washed inside and out. Bath time is a pretty happy time in our house, and boy did we all need that this morning. Anastasia needed the humidity, Bella needed the soap, and Mama needed a break in the tears. An activity that solves all 3 problems is pure genius!
I am still reading Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay. I know, I started it months ago, but this is serious reading that I need to make more time for. As it is I get to read a little bit about once a week, usually for about an hour, sometimes two. It's slow progress, but it's absolutely worth it. This is the second book I've read by Fr. Dubay (Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer being the first) and I read it thinking he's speaking directly to my soul. Oh how I desire the closeness with Our Lord as described by the saints! Oh how far I have to go!
Actually, that's all I can think about right now. I am going to implement an idea from a friend and write thoughts on sticky-notes throughout the week as to about what I would like to blog so that by Friday I will remember what was interesting but not deserving of a whole post. That is, after all, what these quick takes are for, right?