Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Baby Shower

the invitations and favors

I mentioned awhile back that Mr. Smith's brother and his wife had offered to throw us a baby shower. It was something I had mixed feelings over for a long time. I was super excited that they would go to such trouble to bless our baby with new things. It felt strange though, doing the whole thing all over again 11 years after the first time. I kept saying, "I'm too old to go set up a baby registry!" I know darn well I'm not too old, many women my age haven't even thought about kids yet, I just felt awkward doing it. I guess I also have a hard time letting people do things for me, and I really had to let go of that in order for the shower to happen.
Happen it did. It was wonderful. We have such generous friends and family, we got almost everything on our registry and then some. For example:
A beautiful wooden bassinet-- The one we have always used is the one that I slept in as a baby, as did all of my siblings. My oldest brother is 36. My mom had fixed it up for us when Blake was born, but it was still a rickety, wicker, slightly top-heavy bassinet. It made me quite nervous to think of curious little boys trying to peer in over the side of it... enough said.
A "travel system"-- A stroller and car seat set. I don't know if we were trying to register frugally the first time around, or if these things just weren't around 11 years ago, but our first stroller was an inexpensive single stroller and the car seat did not go with it. We used to set the car seat in it when we needed to, but it certainly didn't lock in... you get the picture.
A high chair-- Ours was an original that had been through all five boys. One leg was shorter than the others because the peg/lock system had gone awry years ago, and the straps had been misplaced and never found at least 2 babies ago. It was also clunky and awkward, taking up way too much space; and do you know they make high chairs now with this handy little removable tray cover that you can put in the dishwasher? Well they do, and now we have one.
We also received a second base for the car seat (never had one, always had to unbuckle/rebuckle), a new Boppy pillow (who wants to put a newborn on an 11-year-old pillow? they didn't make them with removable covers back then either), a travel swing/bouncer, a JJ Cole Bundle Me cover for the car seat (no more infant in an impossible-to-manage snowsuit), as well as new clothes, onesies, burp cloths, diapers, blankets and toys, and several gift cards to pick up whatever else we may need.

We could hardly believe how blessed we were. Now we just need a baby to use it all... Soon.

me and my sis

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today was a long, difficult day.
I cried, hugged, and comforted, until I had nothing left to offer.
Today I watched a mother say goodbye to her daughter,
close the casket and walk away.
I am baffled,
by how it is that good people succumb to terrible things.
Today I prayed,
for the soul of a girl we called cousin,
and the ones she left behind.
And I begged the Lord for mercy.
Now mercifully,
Today is over,
and tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Contemplation

I woke this morning to the sound of Ave Maria drifting into my room from the piano. It was Blake, practicing for his part in our May Crowning today after Mass. He set his alarm early and got up on his own to go over it a few more times.

Such self-discipline.

Something I've been pondering lately. If you had asked me a few months ago I would have said I was adequately self-disciplined. I'm a conservative person, no wild tendencies, I give of myself in multiple directions daily. I'm not prone to spending binges, I attend Mass and Confession regularly, and hold my temper fairly well.

Is that enough?

I give of myself, to my husband, my kids, but do I really sacrifice? Do I know the meaning of the word? When was the last time I gave but didn't take? Gave up a comfort for a greater good?

Had Blake not been up and practicing, I would have stayed put in my bed for as long as I could get away with. In fact, staying in bed in the morning has become one of my main goals lately. Even at the expense of a smooth-running morning routine. I acknowledged long ago that I need to be up and functional well before the children in order for the morning to go well. Yet I don't make it a priority. Day after day I drag myself out of bed to find that the older boys are already busy playing a board game, or eating their cereal.

Yes, I am pregnant. Very pregnant.
Is that a worthy excuse?

How many women before me have been this pregnant, with challenges I can't even dream of, and still maintained the discipline of a good Christian woman?

Shall I talk about ice cream? I'm currently testing the limits on daily human consumption of it. Lately it's rainbow sherbet with Vernor's. I just finished off a package of 600 lb. Gorilla ice cream cookie sandwiches the other night. On Sunday, an entire pint of Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone. In. One. Sitting. I've told myself that I would sleep better were I not consuming an entire week's worth of sugar an hour before bedtime. I've told myself I should take a few days off from the ice cream and see how I feel. Then before I know it, I'm talking myself into getting a bowl, knowing that once the baby comes life will be different and ice cream will be off the daily menu.

Does pregnancy legitimize gluttony? Certainly not. So why the desire to constantly over-indulge? Not just a desire, but a giving in to the desire.

It's true that when you know more, more is expected of you. On this Christian journey, there is no perfection. There is no finish line, except the eternal one. Just because I'm a better Christian than I was a year ago, doesn't mean that's good enough.

Eating ice cream and sleeping in are not the greatest evils of this world. Complacency, however, is intolerable. I expect better from myself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

Peyton: "Mama, I can't believe that someone the size of Isaac is going to be a big brother in just a few weeks."

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's May

Go ahead. Ask me when I'm due.

Next month!