Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sorry, but...

Thrush is back, so I am not.

Lying low while I rehabilitate myself once again. It's definitely not as bad as last time, but I'm also not taking any chances. Once again it snuck up on me while I wasn't paying attention - I shrugged off a few symptoms here or there, powered through some pain, then woke up one morning and said "oh crap."

Word to the wise: even if you have a lot of other things going on, please pay attention if your "ni-nis" hurt.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Welcoming DGO to the RCC, Part III: The After Party

For preparations that I did differently that simplified my life, see here.
For the baptism liturgy itself, here

This post was delayed by an out of town trip and then everyone getting sick...this week, we'll see what VBS does to my posting spree. 

After parties are apparently soemthing that we Orams really like - we seem to have one for every major event! After the baptism (which was held in the morning for optimal toddler cooperation), everyone headed home to take naps, and I had the bright idea of meeting up at the beach in the early evening for more fun. 

And it really was. 



Father Joe borrowed Annie's (David's godmother) kayak and started paddling around...inevitably striking up a conversation with the Latino family next to us (he speaks Spanish). And then, with parental permission of course, started taking kids for rides around the ocean...like you do. 

Funny story: I had been the one communicating with everyone so we could all meet up in the same place, but I guess I didn't do a great job of relaying all the information to everyone else. Tom is playing with Zuzu in the water when he sees Annie come by in her kayak. "oh my gosh!" he says, "what are the odds that you guys are here right when we are??" ...quite small, dear. 

Zuzu had tons of people to play with her, which meant I just got to sit back and enjoy. 



Then we got to see the sunset on our merry band. We didn't want to leave, but we're all a bit too old (or young) to sleep on the beach I think.



We gave the babies their last salty cuddles before tucking them in and heading out. Salt, sand, and chrism - not many combos better than that.





Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Welcoming DGO to RCC, Part II

In the first post, I talked about what I planned differently in advance that made the baptism more personally meaningful and enjoyable for me. 


We also did the actual liturgy itself a bit differently! We started in the narthex, which is the area outside the actual sanctuary. This is where our main holy water font is and where the Liturgy of the Word and the baptism were performed. Then we processed into the main sanctuary for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, symbolizing David's entrance into the Church!
Waiting for Tom, I believe!



If I could look anymore like my Grandma Dorothy in this picture, I'd actually become her
It is unconventional to do the liturgy this way, but I loved it because it felt so communal. We were all gathered there, in a circle around the font, and it felt like what it should be: a group of believers coming together to witness a babe's entrance into the Church! It wasn't a performance with an audience and since our parish is quite large, the small narthex made the small group of twenty or so people gathered feel much more intimate. I loved that I could look around and see the faces of so many people who love and support us - some of the same people who will love and support David throughout his life and journey of faith. 
Notable absences were all of my siblings and Tom's family - although since it was Mother's Day weekend, it was understandable! Especially for Tom's family, who had only just welcomed Tom's newest nephew, aka David's built-in best friend. 

Zuzu's Easter dress does double duty


David's godfather, Matt, did one of the readings and Jen read the intercessions, while David's lovely godmother Annie (8 months pregnant with her third child) sang a setting of the 66th Psalm written by Tom. Talk about emotion - my heart was so full seeing this celebration. The priest who baptized David is Fr. Joe, Zuzu's godfather and Tom and I's best friend from when we were in school together at the Catholic University of America. Back in the day, Tom, Joe, and I used to skulk out around DC and NOVA, generally getting into theological arguments and trying to find the best bar. Eight years later, Fr. Joe is baptizing Tom and I's son and I'm holding back tears. 







The newest Christian! 

Sibling love




Processing in!
The gifts were brought up by two members of a family that we love so much. Incidentially, they really saved my biscuits this morning when they gladly agreed to pick up the cake and drop it off at the reception room! But imagine how bad I felt when I realized we hadn't paid for it in advance. Of course, because they are classy and wonderful, they brushed off my apologies and offered checks with the greatest of ease. This community blesses us beyond measure. 


When Fr. Joe called for a Eucharistic minister, Jen stepped forward and lo, another blessed moment where I received the Precious Blood from my best friend at the baptism of my son. 

The pictures afterwards were a wonderful conundrum of encouraging hungry toddlers to stand still, ushering people in and out of the frames, and general hilarity. It reminded me of our wedding, nearly four years ago, in the same place with so many of the same people - the same community welcoming us and supporting us, just like they promised to that hot July evening. 






After that, it was party time! We didn't get many shots...too busy having fun! 



Zuzu and Augie, her buddy 



Next up: The after party...on the beach! 


Monday, June 1, 2015

Welcoming DGO into the RCC, Part 1

As I mentioned previously, I did several things for David's baptism that I didn't for Zuzu's - and that made the day go more smoothly for everyone and gave me the ability to enjoy it more without getting too stressed!

First thing, I did some "glamour shots" with my Davey-boy before the big day. I did this partly because I knew it'd be hard to do it on the big day: I didn't know what kind of weather/lighting we'd have, babies don't last long in formal garments anyway, and when would we find the time? So I took a relaxed afternoon when the light was good to dress him up and snap some lovelies - forgive the picture overload!

With my rosary from Lourdes

Happy to be baptized soon!



The gown and bonnet were bought new from my favorite children's boutique in Orlando, Tweenie's. My mom bought me clothes from there when I was a baby! I haven't gotten any shots of the gown itself, but I should. We had the back of the cap monogrammed with an 'O' and because there is a very wide hem, we had it embroidered with Susannah's name and baptism date. Now David's name will go on the hem too. We have room for at least six names and then my seamstress assures me we can add another layer to the gown, with a hem that will hang past the original - so we can add more names! 

I also ordered personalized holy cards to give out as favors. Try as I might, most all the ones online seem to have the same image on the front, but I was glad with the ones that we ordered - they allowed a great deal of personalization on the back that I thought was really lovely. They also shipped very fast! 
All photos from here on out courtesy of Zuzu's awesome godmother, Jen





Thanks to Kathryn Whitaker, I was clued in to the idea of ordering godparent gifts! I ordered these frames from Pottery Barn when they were on sale and had them engraved with David's full name and baptism date. Then I put in one of the glamour shots and wrapped them up! My apologies to Zuzu's wonderful godparents who never got so much as a thank you note I'm sure...

I also took a deep breath, swallowed my pride, and took my husband's advice: we did NOT have the baptism party at our house. Last time, I wanted so badly to be the hostess - I love hosting parties and really wanted to have it at our home. Although everything worked out fine, this time there was just a lot more going on: I have a toddler and a newborn to care for, making house clean-up a bit more challenging, lots of people came in from out of town so we were making airport runs and blowing up air mattresses - AND a dear friend at the parish offered to cater the party as his gift to us! Since the parish has a professional kitchen, ample parking, and is clean, Tom begged me to just have it there. I finally gave in and that was a VERY good decision!

Cake from Publix - my beloved grocery store
I bought a whole set of Little Prince postcards in Paray le Monial, France when I went on pilgrimmage - and in cute blue frames, they were just perfect for table centerpieces! 

We framed his birth announcement for decoration on the gift table

Nearly the ONLY thing that turned out right from the baptism printables package we bought off Etsy - live and learn!

A watermelon in the shape of a rabbit. We have the best friends ever.

The night before, this is what everyone was doing - wrapping silverware in with personalized napkin rings. Like I said, best friends ever.

The whole spread included eggs benedict, French toast casserole, croissant sandwiches, sausage, scrambled eggs, bacon, cereals, and of course - mimosas!


The last thing I did - which really really did make a difference - was make my appearance as much a priority as anyone else in the family. I did NOT do this for Zuzu's day at all and it made me feel rushed, unhappy, and frustrated - not the way you want to feel on such a joyous occasion! So I started shopping for my dress three weeks in advance, and even had enough time to get it hemmed professionally. Then I found my accessories (cardigan from Marshalls, belt, shoes) and took to Pinterest for some hair tutorials since my awesome hair gal was already booked. The day of, Zuzu played with her godfather while David slept and I got ready! Full face of make up, plenty of time to get dressed leisurely so as to avoid sweating - wow, WHAT a difference from how I felt two years ago! 

David looking adoringly at his Daddy! But also - my hair! 

Godparents as bookends, plus the new family, and our favorite celebrant. Best full body shot of my outfit too ;) 

Next up: The actual baptism! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

7QT: Reader Input Needed!

Quick Takes Friday!
In which I have some sincere questions and would love your input.



-1-
So yesterday, I finally got Zuzu settled on the couch (she's a horrible sick person), and David in the Boba, then got down to mopping my really gross kitchen floor (and the bedroom for good measure).  Since this is a good time to listen to something, I started listening to the Visitation Project podcast. To my surprise, I enjoyed it - surprise because I'm not really a podcast person. But I really felt the sincerity in their words and enjoyed hearing them speak - plus that line in the first one about encouraging walkers/runners, made me laugh really hard. If you're looking for something to listen to, check them out!

Still one of my favorite pictures - the sun coming in our back sliders in the morning is phenomenal.


-2-
In one of the moms groups I'm a part of, a gal posted an article about moms feeling touched out. Granted, the tone and verbage is a bit...hippy?...to me, but I appreciated the message. Too often mothers go to two extremes in dealing with our gut reactions to a parenting situation: either we power through, shoving down feelings we deem unacceptable, or give in to our first instinctual reaction. The article paints a helpful third way of considering our reactions and allowing them to inform, but not control, our parenting practices.



-3-
The article above is really helpful, especially since I'm tandem nursing right now (I realized I outed myself as a tandem nurser in a previous post). If I was going to start a new blog, I'd call it Confessions of an Accidental Tandem Nurser, because I really never thought I'd get to this point. Many mothers I've met have been so complimentary of me nursing Zuzu for so long and I've always protested that I'm just too lazy to wean. Well, I think I've now proven that - I really didn't want to deal with weaning and so now I'm dealing with nursing two kids at once. Which also proves that laziness is usually it's own punishment, since tandem nursing is NOT easier and is actually really annoying, for me, most of the time.

Any one have weaning advice for a much older toddler?

-4-
This June, we will be taking the kiddos to Disney for the first time. I'm beyond excited, since Disney was a huge part of my childhood, as I grew up in a suburb of Orlando and nearly all of my family has, at one point or another, worked for Disney. This might explain why I am NOT doing Disney at all like the amazing Kathryn Whitaker. I read her Disney posts and my head nearly explodes.
In all my years of going to Disney, never once have I done a character breakfast or planned out my fast passes or synched our Magic Bands or even taken nice pictures there. Disney to us was like the park down the street - you went often, sometimes just for the afternoon, and it was fun but not novel. I'm feeling sort of bad that I'm not making it the huge experience for Susannah that she'd have if she was coming from out of state, but then again, we probably couldn't afford it if we weren't staying with my parents and getting Florida resident rates!



-5-
Amelia's reflections on her cleaning style were sincerely fascinating to me, since I am the exact opposite. Without a cleaning schedule, my house is cleaned sporadically at best. What usually happens is once I have a few minutes without someone attached to my body, I just start frantically cleaning whatever is in front of me - then someone needs me so I walk away - then I forget what I was doing and start frantically cleaning some new area - repeat all day resulting in an entire house that's half-way messy. But if I have a list? Oh it GETS DONE because nothing excites me more than checking off those boxes next to my list.

-6-
Someone tweeted Jen Fulwiler's old blog post about her realization of what is ACTUALLY relaxing for her, which is not a day at the salon. I can really identify, because for so long after Zuzu was born I kept thinking I needed to get some time away from the baby to relax - isn't that what everyone says moms need? But in reality, I have to realize that I am NOT  a person who can relax away from my children right now. I feel more relaxed when they are close by, but we are in an environment where everyone can enjoy themselves freely, i.e. kids can be loud and messy, I can nurse comfortably. So for my birthday we ate at this dive on the beach - Zuzu could eat french fries and run around in the sand, nobody batted an eye at my nursing cleavage (because hello, there was a girl playing beach volleyball in a THONG 10 feet over), and there was plenty of beer for all the adults. That was way more relaxing than going out to a nice dinner or doing something away from the kids, where I'd just be worrying about how they were doing the whole time.



-7-
Tom has very generously gifted me with a blog redesign! I have hired a very talented designer (she did Jen's!) and am starting to gather ideas. Anybody have advice or any helpful posts out there on figuring out your design aesthetic? I am having a slight existential crisis, not unlike the one going on in my wardrobe AND my home. I think these are all connected. Choosing how to present myself visually - in my home, my wardrobe, my online presence - places me in the position of reconciling my love for two very distinct styles that I have always loved. Choosing one or the other makes me feel as if I am making a forever statement about who I am, but trying to embrace both usually results in visuals that are incongruous and not in harmony. Talk to me, design people: how do you choose a visual representation of yourself - or is it something you're not extremely concern about at all?

Ever realize how hard it is to find a picture of yourself? Baby Zuzu and I in 2013!