Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pregnancy #3: 8 Weeks Along

This pregnancy has been the easiest by far, so far, although there have been some notable moments and a few scares (already!)!

The scares began shortly after we found out that I was pregnant. I started having sharp pains. Not like the ligament pains that I've had in the past during the first trimester. I described them to the doctor as "it's-time-to-go-to-the-hospital-to-have-this-baby-type contractions." They'd last for over a minute at a time and made it difficult to stand, much less walk. I discovered after a few days of this that if I drank a ridiculous amount of water they were greatly lessened, although when I went for a checkup she said that they were probably from nursing, and since we're not weaning Mae yet (we're planning on tandem nursing since Mae's only going to be 18 months when the baby's born) they're likely to continue (she didn't seemed concerned, so I'm feeling much better about it!).

I have been getting them much less frequently, they're much less intense, and they usually do come after a marathon nursing session (like last night when Mae took a couple of hours to go to sleep and kept screaming if she wasn't nursing... I will admit that I don't enjoy bedtime between the 10-12 month marks!). That was our initial scare this time around!

The contractions added to my desire to wait as long as possible to announce the pregnancy to the whole world! I've always thought, next time I'll wait until twelve weeks before we make the announcement, but so far, I've never made it past the middle of the first trimester. And this time the reason was fairly obvious. I felt like I had a baby bump five minutes after taking the pregnancy test. One week I was looking in the mirror thinking, "My waist is starting to go back!" and the next week I was looking in the mirror thinking: "baby bump!" The muscles just seem to remember what to do and instantly relaxed as the pregnancy hormones hit my body. It's like an insta-bump!

While the insta-bump has appeared, and I'm eating like a crazy person (between nursing and this baby I'm almost constantly hungry) I was surprised to step on the scale and discover I've lost betwen 5 and 10 lbs depending on the time of day when I weigh in. I always kind of roll my eyes when I see doctor's on TV who say "you only need to eat an extra apple a day to get the extra calories when you're pregnant." Pregnancy metabolism (for me at least) is a little crazy (I am kind of enjoying it at the moment!). And I do kind of wish my metabolism was like this when I wasn't pregnant!

The best part of this pregnancy has been the notable lack of morning sickness. With Sadie the morning sickness lasted from somewhere around 6 weeks to 12 weeks and was severe. With Mae it started at around 4 weeks and went to around 12 weeks but was much milder than the first time around. This time I've had a few bouts of mild nausea in the morning and one day of being sick, but that was pretty much it (and I'm hoping it stays that way!!!). If I get hungry the nausea will begin to come back, so I'm keeping snacks around to munch on and keep the morning sickness at bay and this time it seems to be working.

The lack of morning sickness leads to speculation on all sides of whether it's a boy or a girl! And I love hearing different theories because guessing what this little one is going to be like is one of my favorite pass times at the moment.

And that is the rather long pregnancy update! The picture above is actually from last week (7 weeks)!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Case Against Parenthood?

Do you ever see those articles about the cost of having children and think, there's no way it costs that much, because I know how much we make and I know how much I spend and even if we multiply it by 18 it's only going to be a fraction of that cost!

I think kids cost... however much you have to spend...

There's a disturbing slant to this article, when you read the whole thing, that makes me think the author heartily agrees with the conclusion: "It's just not worth it!"

Here's the newest from Shine from Yahoo!:
"...Even before the Shepherds left Asheville, North Carolina, for Sichuan province, they'd made their life decision based on the experiences of their "childed" friends. "We watched them struggle to pay bills, find suitable apartments or houses to fit their families, and work at jobs they didn't like because they needed the insurance," Cynthia says. So she and Anthony enthusiastically took a pass on parenthood, an increasingly common decision for America's couples.

Considering the state of the economy, it should come as no surprise that the ranks of the child-free are exploding. The Department of Agriculture reports that the average cost for a middle-income two-parent family to support a kid through high school is $286,050 (it's nearly half a million dollars for couples in higher tax brackets). Want him or her to get a college education? The number jumps to nearly $350,000 for a public university, and more than $400,000 for private. Though if your kid's planning to major in Male Sterilization, it could wind up being a good investment: The vasectomy business seems to be one of the few in America that is booming. In the past year, the Associates in Urology clinic in West Orange, New Jersey, has seen a 50 percent jump in the procedure. So you could stress over starting a college fund, or you could consider that you can get a vasectomy at Planned Parenthood for less than the cost of a Bugaboo Cameleon stroller. Unless you're among the less than 2 percent of Americans who farm for a living and might conceivably rely on offspring for free labor, children have gone from being an economic asset to an economic liability.

But for the child-free, the benefits go beyond dollars and cents. There's less guilt, less worry, less responsibility, more sleep, more free time, more disposable income, no awkward conversations about Teen Mom, no forced relationships with people just because your kids like their kids, no chauffeuring other people's kids in your minivan to soccer games you find less appealing than televised chess..."

Read the entire article here.
And then there are the assumptions that this article makes. Want your kid to go to college? You better pay for it or it's not going to happen!

While this article can tell you all the great things about not having kids, the author doesn't find a way to put into words the many great things about having kids (in fact she parrots the research that claims that people with kids are less happy). And don't read the comments section unless you want an eyeful of hate on why it's evil to have kids and how "stupid" "breeders" are "overpopulating the world."

I wonder how many people are going to regret the decisions to sterilize that they made in their twenties (I have a friend who tried to convince her OB/GYN to do an elective hysterectomy when we were in our early twenties. She now has a beautiful baby girl!)... I have a feeling the numbers looking for reversals, and hoping those reversals work, will be very high.

The New Lace Snoods

I mentioned in my last post that I recently came up with a new pattern for making lace snoods that is much quicker than my old pattern! I'm really excited about this, as it means a 25% drop in the price of my lace snoods (from $20 to $15) and I love how it turned out. I have about ten of these pinned and ready to sew and the plan is to add one to my shop each day for the next week and a half, along with a headband or two (my first headband is up here too!). I hope you like them too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sadie Frown of the Week: Parents Signing Young Children Up For "Gender Reassignment"

In our world, it's trendy to say a great many things that simply aren't true. It's seen as normal for a mother can enlist a doctor's help in murdering her unborn child. So I guess the sort of control over children's bodies that is being reported in India isn't that far of a stretch. After all, if you can kill your child, why shouldn't you be able sign on the dotted line for a little (major) surgery?

The logic is mind boggling in both cases, and falls apart after anything more than a cursory glance and yet... everyday women kill their children. And according to recent reports, in India, families who feel the pressure to have a boy are signing their small children up for sex change operations. Here's the report:
"...Wealthy parents from Delhi and Mumbai are reportedly flocking to Indore, a city in the centre of India, for the relatively low cost £2,000 treatment to surgically 'correct' their daughters..."

"...Seven genitoplasty experts in Indore boasted each of them had turned 200 to 300 girls into 'boys' so far, with only one being older than 14, the legal age of consent to such an operation..."

Read the entire article here.

h/t Creative Minority Report
As I read more and more articles lately claiming that sexual identity is entirely a social construct (did you hear about the Swedish preschool that banned the words "him" and "her"?), I can't be entirely surprised by this newly reported form of evil. After all, if all that matters is how we're treated, than it shouldn't matter if we're born male or female. Another myth, but a myth that is rather trendy at the moment. This article shows that not only is the logic untrue, it's dangerous.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every child was welcomed into their mother's arms, regardless of gender, without the risk of being aborted for whatever reason? I have to say, being all of eight weeks pregnant, that I'm already tiring of the "I hope you have a boy" comments I've been getting a couple times each day. That is, apparently, the standard reaction to seeing a woman with two little girls who is pregnant.

I would love to have a boy. I would love to have another girl. But what I'm really praying for is a healthy baby for Sadie and Mae to dote on. Is that really such an odd wish these days? Are we really so desperate to control everything about our bodies and our lives that we're willing to murder our children and mutilate the ones who are allowed to be born?

The main difference I see between India and the US is that in India the families can't have ultrasounds to see if the baby is a girl and abort it. If a family in the US doesn't want another girl, they can find out and have it "taken care of..." After all, it's the mother's body and the mother's "choice." It seems so easy, for some, to forget, or ignore the fact that the body that's ripped apart isn't her body and the life that's lost isn't hers to take.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Guessing Game!

I know it's early, but this looked like fun and so I had to start a game! I already guessed! Anybody else have a guess?

Why Is It So Hard To Find A Simple, Reverent Mass?!?!?

Mass has been getting more and more "interesting" lately. First there was the sudden increase in volume in the music. I turned to glance back at Paul and Mae in the back last week and noticed that people were literally plugging their ears because the microphones for the organ and piano (and cantors) are turned up so loud that it's kind of painful. As we were walking out we heard a man say: "If you weren't deaf when you got there, you are now!" or something along those lines.

Then a second microphone was added, next to the cantor's microphone and a new woman appeared so there are now (it seems) two cantor's. I was trying to focus my attention on the Mass, and was somewhat successful (Sadie was actually being pretty good) when a loud jazz tune came from the organ (that's the closest music I could think of to describe it to... although now that I think of it I think it was supposed to be a sort of southern-gospel-revival-type of song) and the responsorial psalm was transformed into a sort of jazzy show tune.

The part we were supposed to say was something like: "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord" or something like that repeated five times. I thought, that's an odd psalm (mostly because of how it was being... presented...) and glanced at the missal. It said: "Praise the Lord, Jerusalem." I'm sure the other was the alternate since it Corpus Christi Sunday, and that's all well and good... I guess what bothers me is the blow-your-eardrums-out-of-your-head volume.

Now I should admit that I had my first bout of real morning sickness yesterday, so I was sitting in the pew, wondering why it was 80 degrees inside, trying not to get sick during all of this. My mood was not... the best... (I was really trying... but ugh... morning sickness and that faint, I can't feel my lips feeling aren't a great combo).

Then I heard these words during the homily: "And the proper way to receive during Mass is with your hands extended like this. In your hands." Maybe he saw the look on my face (we do sit in the front row). Maybe he would have added it anyways because there was a quick: "Or if you want to you can receive on the tongue." And I thought when did "By indult only" become "the proper way"?!?! Oh, it's allowed. It's certainly allowed. But implying that it's superior? The pregnancy hormones were raging.

Then the liturgy of the Eucharist started and I tried my level best not to think of high-school musical. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: our pastor has a fabulous voice and loves to sing. He would be great on Broadway. And I would love to see a Mass that was chanted (gregorian chant or something like that). But I spend Mass thinking, I've been dropped into High School Musical. He's going to start dancing on the altar (I should note: that has not happened...).

Have you ever seen a Mass done in this style (if you haven't seen High School Musical think of a good Show Tune and imagine Mass done in that way... all of Mass...)? It's odd because it just seems to be... about the person or people singing... and I'm sure everyone appreciates the Eucharist (part of the homily was a beautiful tribute to the Eucharist and how it is the body and blood of Christ)... but for much of the liturgy the focus seems to be somewhere else, on the super loud music and the very loud singing.

So I am looking forward to living in an area with a Tridentine Mass (the closest one to our current location is well over two hours away... we already drive over an hour, each way, through the mountains to get to Mass...)... or just a nice, simple NO Mass (I'm hoping we can attend a Latin Mass on Sunday and at least one NO Mass during the week... at least that's the dream!).

One more month of show-tunes. Hopefully all of our eardrums are still intact when we make the move.

Why is it so difficult to find a Mass where a) none of the words are changed and b) the Eucharist actually seems, in reality, to be the focus of why we're all there? I know it's possible. I know it exists. I just don't know why it's so hard to find here in California...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Van

I always knew this day would come. The day when we looked at the back of our Toyota and said: "There's just no room for another car seat." As it is there's hardly room for the one's that we have! I sit with my knees practically touching my chest so that Mae's car seat can be rear facing (and with the new research it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon).

And so I begin to scan the classifieds in Florida for a dependable, running mini-van. Thankfully, it seems, that many people are getting rid of their mini-vans.

Does anyone have a type of mini-van that they love that they would strongly recommend? So far I found a used Chrysler Town and Country from a dealership that was pretty reasonably priced ($4000) and looked like it was in good shape... Then again it's not like they try to make them look bad in the classifieds...

Coming Soon!

I finished my pattern for thick, hair covering headbands last night and I'm really excited with how they turned out. The lace ones, like this one, are going to be $8 in my shop (the cotton and linen will be the same price) and the Dupioni silk ones will be $10 (they aren't up yet!).

I'll be doing a headband giveaway this week and will have the new headbands up as soon as I can snap some pictures of them outside (it will be a couple of days!). They are very comfortable with a lace covered elastic band in the back!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Recovering" Catholics and Unintentional Lies

Lately it seems as if I just keep stumbling across stories in the media where the writer describes their conversion, away from Catholicism, usually citing a "Catholic" belief as the reason for their departure, that isn't actually a real Catholic teaching (or is in fact directly contrary to Catholic teaching).

In one recent article the writer said her Catholic mother was part of the "cult of Mary" and raised her and her sister's to put Mary before God. In another the speaker acted as if Catholic's can't have a "personal relationship with God" and that he "finally found the church that he should have been born into."

It's so sad that people leave the Church (and the Eucharist), without truly understanding what their faith teaches, and then spend their lives "recovering" (the new trendy term used by some who've "left" the Church) from something that wasn't actually real.

It's one thing if a person thoroughly understands what the Church teaches and rejects it. It's another if they have an understanding of Church teaching comparable to a toddler (or an understanding worse than a toddler) and then throw out reason after reason that isn't grounded in reality, as if it were the truth. Adding to the tragedy is that other non-Catholics hear these lies (although they are usually unknowing lies) from a "recovering Cradle Catholic" and believe that that is, in fact, what the Church teaches. After all, it came from someone who was "Catholic" for twenty some years and must be true.

The same old litany of complaints begins: Catholics worship statues... Catholics worship Mary... Catholics don't read the Bible...

If the speaker did a tiny bit of research the arguments would fall quickly to pieces... but that amount of effort appears to be too much for some, and they embrace what they are told by people who really don't understand the Church, and don't really care to.

The best way to learn about a religion is to read it's actual texts to find out what it actually teaches. Reading tracts from groups that have a vested interest in luring people away means that you will be learning about a religion second hand, through (what is very likely) a thickly distorted lens.

Before becoming Catholic I did explore other religions. I took classes on Islam (from Muslim teachers) and studied the Koran. I took classes on Eastern Religions and studied the Bhagavad Geeta, The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, the Tao Te Ching, and the Analects. And I found bits and pieces of truth along the way.

Then I began to read the Bible. And I began to pray more.

My past reading primary texts ultimately helped me find my way home to the Church. John 21 ("Feed my sheep") and Matthew 16 (the "keys to the kingdom") were big for me. John 6 was huge. And as time goes on other verses stand out and are illuminated. Lately Matthew 5 has stood out since I heard an apologist explain that this was Jesus' promise that the legacy that He was leaving behind (the Church) would be easy to identify (and from this we can also gather that it would be there all along... which is also part of the promise He makes in Matthew 16 when he says that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it, which is, by the way, my favorite Bible verse of all time [wait a second! Catholics can have favorite Bible verse?!?!... just kidding...]!):
"You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house."
The media is always eager for an "I used to be Catholic story." With better catechesis I think we will begin to hear less and less of them. At least that is my prayer.

On a side note... I think I have a problem with overusing ellipses. I've been trying to work on that, but tonight I think I've failed... and I'm too sleepy to fix it!

My Latest Project: More Dupioni Silk Snoods

Tonight was a sewing night. I only have one dupoini silk snood left unfinished (it's navy blue), but these are the latest ones I've been working on and are some of my favorites. I was very tempted to keep the red (with all the red in my closet!)! However tonight I was a bit distracted by my new order of lace that came in (light blue, bright blue, turquoise, pink, coral, gold, green, purple, black and white!) and actually came up with a new variation of my lace snoods that is quicker to make (which means this variation is going to be less expensive!).

So it looks like lace is going to be my newest fabric obsession of the moment... and now, here are my latest snoods:

As you may have noticed, red is my favorite color...

Usually I'm not a fan of orange... but this is now one of my favorite colors!

This one changes from blue to purple and back depending on the lighting!

And more turquoise. I have three different turquoise-ish blues here and I just can't decide which one is my favorite. If I was making my "dream" dress I think it would be out of one of these.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sadie Frown of the Week: Catholic Coverage of Father Corapi

As an avid Catholic News follower, it’s hard to escape the coverage of Father Corapi and the drama that has played out over the last, rather short span, of days. There was the initial onslaught when he announced the accusations that had been brought against him, in which many bloggers that I usually enjoy reading were suddenly transformed into, well… less than charitable versions of themselves (see the Vortex take on the spectacle here)… while the rest of us prayed that it would be resolved quickly and that Father Corapi would be proven innocent of any wrong doing and would be back to work in a matter of weeks.

I knew that the dream was unrealistic, but still, hope isn’t easy to squash, and so I clung to it and waited for news, which was really all that any of us could do.

I’ll admit, I tend to be skeptical when I hear accusations, until proof is presented. I’ve seen too many addicts (meth is what’s popular in my area) think that they could make a quick buck by accusing an innocent, hard working citizen in a community of something evil, to give too much credit to any accuser before the accused has their day in court (and have learned that an addict’s lies usually fall apart in depositions… because… well… the brain cells required to keep lies straight don’t usually survive and addiction very well…).

Then came Fr. Corapi’s latest (major) announcement. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure exactly how to take his words. I was reeling when I posted the link so that any of you who hadn’t heard the news could read it for yourselves and make of it what you would. There was one thing that I did know, however. I knew that the same bloggers who were so ready to throw Fr. Corapi under the bus when this all began, were going to be more than ready to continue their earlier work. In fact I had an inkling that they were salivating over the latest announcement.

The way many of the Catholic-media articles I read spoke of Fr. Corapi lacked charity altogether. The way they spoke of people who learned from him was nearly as disturbing. It was as if they thought enjoying Fr. Corapi’s programs, or learning something from them, was some sort of horrible character flaw, and that those who watched his programs regularly were mindless drones.

I understand that his style of speaking may not suite everyone and that’s fine. We all learn in different ways. But the outright condemnation and the onslaught of “I always knew there was something wrong with him and the masses who listened to him…” comments said far more about the writers who typed the words than they ever did about the man of which they spoke.

My heart ached for him when I heard his latest announcement, and I’ll admit that I was torn when I read his words. Paul told me that I should blog about it, but I just didn’t feel ready to put my thoughts into words. And besides, what do I know? What can I say? I’m not in Father Corapi’s shoes. And I pray that I’m never in a situation when the basic pieces of my vocation are torn from me.

So here are my somewhat scattered thoughts.

My initial reaction, after reading and hearing Fr. Corapi’s words, was that I wished he had reacted a bit differently. Paul pointed out that saints are saints, but that they still often reacted to the situations that they were in according to their personalities, and that this was very much in keeping with Father Corapi’s personality.

I responded that I just wished he could have waited longer before making this announcement in which he no longer referred to himself as “Father” and that he had bore the accusations as Saint Gerard Majella and Saint Padre Pio had, silently, despite the unfairness of the accusations made against them.

Yet I couldn’t really say those words with much conviction… because, while I know what I “think” is the right thing for a priest in this situation to do (because of what the saints in the past have done) I’m not sure I could remain silent if my name was being dragged through the mud and slandered. Actually, I’m pretty sure I would be protesting that I was innocent at the top of my lungs and would tell anyone who would listen the story of the injustice done against me.

The life that Father Corapi had is over. Are the decisions he’s making the right ones? I honestly don’t know. But I do know that the answers aren’t as cut and dry as they’ve been made out to be.

Maybe the writers who are condemning Corapi are so incredibly advanced in their journey towards sainthood that they’re able to easily make the decision to bear any burden without so much as wincing… or maybe their just fortunate that they’ve never been tested (or seen a loved one tested) in such a painful way, and as a result they lack the compassion and empathy that we should have for everyone involved in this awful situation.

Whatever the reason, the reactions that many have had to this situation aren’t reactions I can imagine any of the saints I can think of having.

I guess we all have a little more work to do on our own paths towards sainthood…

Saint Gerard of Majella, pray for everyone involved in this situation that they may be drawn closer to God.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Airline I Just Won't Fly: Continental

Yesterday my parent's were book plane tickets and asked me if I had an opinion on any of the airlines they were looking at, and the answer that instantly came to mind is that yes, yes, I do... I have a very strong opinion about one of the airlines (it happens to be one of the more affordable airlines in this particular case, unfortunately).

I am not a fan of Continental. In fact saying I'm not a fan may be an understatement. I really can't stand the airline.

Back when I first began writing this blog, when it was just a little tiny baby blog, all of a week old, Paul and I took a trip back to Massachusetts so that Sadie could meet all her Massachusetts aunts and uncles and cousins and could visit Gramma and Grampa. I was nervous about flying with a twelve month old who was just on the verge of beginning to walk, but the flight over was pleasant.

And then came the flight back. I originally described it here. You see, we had booked three tickets since Sadie was such a giant baby, and had brought our car-seat along. Now, while Mae is pretty laid back, Sadie was the type of baby that would g0-go-go, pretty much from birth, and during the ten hours of travel she really needed two parents to wrangle her. We asked for seats together and when we received the tickets I glanced at them, but didn't think to look at the lower tickets in the stack for our connecting flight. I mean, you just kind of assume that, having arrived three hours early to get seats together, and having one of the members of our party being twelve months old and still nursing almost hourly, that... well... we would get seats together.

So I just about had a stroke when, midway through our first flight, I realized while handing Paul his ticket for the second half of the trip, that our seats were all the way across the plane from each other. Paul and Sadie were on one side, and I was way up in towards front (of coach) on the other. The flight was from Dallas to Sacramento.

I wasn't too worried at first. I was sure Continental would help us fix the problem. Our layover was hours long. We got to Dallas and I called Continental. After talking to eight people they told me there was nothing they could do, that it was my problem (despite the fact that we'd reserved seats together) not theirs and that I could approach other customers myself and ask them to make the switch.

I tried asking the people at the front desk. I explained that I was nursing. I explained that she was an energetic thirty pound twelve month old and that that was the very reason we had reserved three seats together and arrived so early to ensure that we got them. The same answer was repeated. "That's not our problem. And asking another passenger to switch would inconvenience them."

Finally we boarded and I stood there next to the seat for ten minutes until I noticed a man looking in my direction, talking to a flight attendant (I'd been standing to show I wasn't just taking his seat, waiting to talk to him) about how I was in his space, and when they finally approached I convinced him to make a trade (he wasn't thrilled about sitting next to a twelve month old either, apparently).

But I will never fly Continental again. When I tried to talk to their representatives, in tears by the end of the conversations, they were rude and dismissive and repeated over and over again that it just wasn't their problem that my nursing baby was seated across the plane and that I'd have to come up with a solution on my own.

And if your a parent with little ones and you want to sit with your little ones, I'd make sure to book another airline!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daily Dose of Cuteness: The Birthday Cake

Sadie celebrates her birthday (a second time). Midway through she notices Grumpa has blown out the match he used the light the candles and starts pointing at the smoke saying "uh-oh!" And Mae, well, Mae is a little less excited to hear "happy birthday" sung, yet again!

An Apron Review and A New Etsy Shop!

A while back I was reading one of my favorite blogs and the blogger, Maria, announced the opening of her Etsy Shop, Crafty Mamacita. I'd been waiting, rather impatiently, for that day, because I had watched Maria's beautiful sewing projects develop on her blog for quite some time and was really impressed with the things that she'd made. And as you may remember (if you've been reading this blog for a very long time!), I have a thing for aprons.

So when she began posting beautiful aprons, I had to have one. I'd been eyeing a crafting bag (it's actually a reversible tote, but when I saw it my first thought was "this would be perfect for my knitting!!!) as well, but with my apron obsession I was instantly sold on the idea of saving up for one!
I wrote a comment on Maria's blog telling her that I loved her aprons and that I was saving up for one and she emailed me back and said that she had two that she would give me, one that was Sadie sized and one that was my size. I was dancing around the house pretty much all day after that!

The aprons arrived and they were absolutely beautiful. My apron is a sturdy denim, which was a very good thing in my case, since I tend to be tough on my aprons (the one I bought last year from Pier One Imports has already met an untimely end), and this apron has really held up well.

I also love that it completely covers the fronts of my dresses (above the knees), which is usually where splatters take place. I've had other aprons that were much smaller, that offered virtually no protection to about half of my clothing. So I am a big fan of my new apron!

Then there's Sadie. She is in love with her apron. She wears it and "does the dishes." A couple of days ago we were both wearing our aprons while we did some chores. When I was done I took mine off and laid it across a chair. Sadie was still "working." Until she turned, saw that mine was off and flew across the kitchen and living room to scold me (at least that's the tone of the panicked words I couldn't quite understand!) and handed it back to me to put on.

After seeing the aprons, Nani decided she needed a Sadie apron for her house and bought this one. Sadie insisted on wearing it last night before we sang happy birthday to her a second time, with the leftover cake, after dinner. At Nani's house Sadie uses it for dishes and crafts. And Nani likes mine so much that she's thinking about custom ordering another apron for herself!

Lately I've been checking in on Crafty Mamacita more frequently, because she's been adding more items! I picked up a white fabric flower for my hair a couple of nights ago and she's just added a super cute flower headband (there's also a black flower clip just like the one I ordered)!

My favorite find on her shop at the moment are the matching blue and white gypsy aprons! I love blue and I love polka dots!

So go over and check out her store! You're likely to find the perfect summer apron!

The Holy Baby Birthday Party

The day for the Holy Baby 3rd Birthday Party had finally arrived. Nani picked up the birthday cake on the way to the park and told us that the cake-maker had told her that now that her kids are older she just didn't realize that this was what little kids are into now-a-days. Nani replied that Sadie may actually be the only one.

When Sadie saw the cake she was shocked. She'd been asking and asking and asking for a "Holy Baby" birthday cake, but it was pretty clear she didn't actually expect us to get her one.

Here's one of the very cute little saint dolls I got from Erin at Saintly Silver on Etsy. I love them. The girls love them. Sadie remembered instantly which doll was hers and which was Mae's and kept bringing Mae her doll and then would continue to glance over to make sure Mae still had her doll (even when Mae was asleep...).

Sadie had been pretty patient, waiting all morning to open her presents at the park with everyone there (she had opened one present when she'd woken up... Maximus, the horse that Holy Baby had been riding around the living room in today's first post). But there came a point when she just couldn't hold out another moment. Waiting four hours is a very long time when you're three...

Then came the moment of truth. She opened the dress. She looked at it. She frowned. And then she said, in a voice that said a tantrum could be coming very soon: "Want put on now!" So I helped her pull it over her dress, despite the fact that it was already nearing 90 degrees outside and it was 11:30am... she wore it until Nani convinced her that it was going to be too hot to play with it on the playground... she must have been very warm to agree to take it off!

With the dress safely on, and the near catastrophe averted, the present opening continued...

Mae has an ear infection now, and so last night I didn't get to finish the habit I was sewing to go along with the dress. I did manage to finish the snood that was going to be under the habit, however (in the car on the way to the party!) and Sadie was pretty thrilled when she saw it. She's been asking me lately to wear a "hat" (that's what she calls the snoods) and was excited to have one of her own. It's white linen, just like the bib part of her dress.

In the picture below Sadie is demonstrating how she prays.

Sadie was pretty excited to be walking around as "Holy Baby." She may have been a bit annoyed that the "pappa"razzi was following her around snapping picture after picture though.

When it came time to light the candles a breeze came up. After three tries they finally stayed lit through the happy birthday song.

Sadie woke up this morning and told me that "Dee bit Mae Bae." After a few seconds of elaboration on that point she announced that she would be going on the big slide because she was going to be three, but that Mae wouldn't be because "Mae Bae is just a little baby." So here she is on one of the "big slides."

And here she is on the second "big slide."

Mae Bae, the "little" baby (she weighed in at 25 lbs yesterday at her doctor's appointment and won't be 1 for another two weeks, putting her in the 95th percentile for her age) passed out on the picnic blanket while her sister continued to play on the playground. She didn't seem to think she was missing out by not going down the "big slides."

She did have time to cuddle with her two new dolls. Mae now has her very own "Holy Baby" and will no longer have to swipe her sister's doll.

I just loved how beautiful the park looked in the background of this picture. And a little while after our picnic party we took the girls to the swimming pool in the background as a special treat.

While Mae Bae napped, Sadie and I read Dora stories (once she'd had her fill of the "big slide")...

Sadie was very focused on the Dora stories and didn't have much energy to put into her stated goal which was: "I want to wake Mae Bae up!"

After the pool we drove to Nani's house and Sadie saw the present that Nani and Grumpa had given her. It had been too big to take to the park. She named him Maximus.

After riding for quite a while she lined up every other horse she could find in the house to make a "fort" and pretend to nap. The horse she's laying against was mine when I was her age. His name is "Fellar" after my first horse (who sniffed my diaper when we met when I was three days old!).

We ended the day with Sadie's requested dinner of hot dogs, watermelon and potato salad. It was followed by left over birthday cake. Sadie was pretty excited about her wonderful day! She even wore one of Maria's beautiful aprons (she asked Nani to put it on before dinner!). Speaking of which, I have a review that will be up very soon about these very aprons (which I'm practically addicted to! If I had an unlimited income I would want one in every color to match every outfit I own!).

But first I'm actually going to go to bed before 10pm tonight and get a little extra (I hope!) sleep (as long as Mae sleeps tonight too!).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Big 3 Year Old!

The perfect way to start a birthday morning (seconds later she was on her own bouncy horse behind Holy Baby going out for a ride)!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mae's Big News!

We decided to let Maggie share today's announcement with all of you:

And because it was kind of tough (if not impossible) to read the words on Mae's T-Shirt in the first photo, here's a close-up!

We're very excited and thankful to God for this blessing!

The Increasing Difficulty of Receiving on the Tongue

I have to say, I've been a little nervous lately about coming forward to receive the Eucharist at our new parish. With both hands full of baby I have the perfect excuse to receive on the tongue, which is what I'd do anyways. And over the years I've perfected the head back, tongue extended tilt, so no physical contact should be made with anyone's hand. In fact, up until this month, I could count the number of times that it's happened on one hand. But no more...

You see, despite the fact that there really doesn't seem to be that much of a necessity for them (other than perhaps on holidays), the crowd of extraordinary ministers that flocks to the altar each Sunday is huge. There's about nine of them, and the priest and sometimes a deacon, and while it means that the lines fly by (twenty people per extraordinary minister! The communion line only lasts a few short minutes! More time for announcements!), it also means that chances are, you aren't going to be receiving from a priest or deacon.

Not a big deal (to me)... unless... you begin to notice a look of panic as the extraordinary minister realizes that you are going to approach for communion on the tongue, as you juggle a struggling toddler or baby and do your best to keep them from grabbing the chalice.

I've only had one priest react in the same way, attempting to stuff the eucharist in my hand which was, well, full, with my child in my arms. And it only happened one time. So when I realize that the randomly chosen line for the week that the priest will be at isn't ours (and we're in the front row) I feel a little stuck.

Last week I went forward, holding Sadie and opened my mouth and extended my tongue, head tilted slightly back, having already seen the slightly panicked look on the woman's face. As I stood there, in the overpowering cloud of perfume that surrounded us (not mine), I held very still. And then I felt it. An entire hand that touched my entire extended tongue. And then perfume. The taste of very strong perfume.

So I have to say, I was a bit hesitant as I went forward yesterday, holding Mae, opening my mouth and extending my tongue and saying a silent prayer that the Eucharist would just make it into my mouth, with nothing else. She was much more careful this time (it was the same woman). Only her finger tips touched my tongue. But the Eucharist still had the very strong, chemically enhanced, taste of her perfume (which actually seemed to be on the Eucharist).

And I'm left wondering, why something so simple, something that's been a tradition for a very long time (receiving on the tongue), has to be so difficult now? It just seems like it should be a basic part of the training that extraordinary ministers receive (maybe it is? I'll admit I've never gone through the training so I don't know... but it seems to be a problem...).

We've been sitting in this particular pew because it's in the front, so the girls can see, but off to the side next to the organ, where it doesn't cause a stir if we have to get up and go to the back.... and it's working really well for Sadie and Mae... but wow... I'm not quite sure what to do. I'd think the perfume thing would even bother people receiving in the hand...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Paul, Grumpa, Grampa, Gigi and to all the Dad's out there! We hope you have a wonderful day!

My Favorite Fabric of the Week...

I have discovered a new fabric, and while I was a little intimidated when I began sewing with it (because the price is prohibitive and I really didn't want to ruin the fabric with an "accident" as a result) it has quickly become my all-time favorite: Dupioni silk.

I've found myself thinking: wouldn't it be nice if all my clothes were made out of it.

Which is not practical at all. It's pretty much dry clean only from what I've heard. And a "dry clean only" piece of clothing would not do all that well in this house in anything other than headcovering form (headcovering fortunately don't usually meet with the same kind of wear and tear that shirts and that sort of thing are subjected too).

And I'm fickle. Last week I was thinking the exact same thing about linen. Then my order of Dupioni silk arrived and I was instantly smitten. Who knows what fabric I'll love next week. Satin? Crepe? Lace? Time will tell (and it's usually pretty obvious by what's being posted in my store!).

Here's a few example of what I've made so far. I have three more finished and waiting to be photographed, but my camera battery went dead mid-photo-shoot! One of the ones that hasn't been photographed is in a surprising orange color that, much to my surprise, became on of my favorites!