Thursday, January 29, 2009

Coffee? Please?? Another cup, perhaps???

I have absolutely nothing profound to say today. How can I? How could I? The entire night went like this:

Put the Bug in her bed. Cover her, tuck her, pat her, fall into bed.

Hope that she will stay asleep. Listen to her grunt and flop her head from side to side. Realize that she is not, in fact asleep.

Pick her up before she wakes Sleeping Beauty My Darling. Bring her into the bed. Latch her on and fall asleep while she nurses fitfully. Sort of.

Wake up to a sleeping baby and a cramped shoulder. Put her gently back into her bed. Cover her, tuck her, pat her, fall into bed.




It's not that I do not want to sleep with my little Buggie. Rather, putting her into her own little nest stems from the need for actual sleep, rather than the pseudo-slumber which results from trying eighty-three positions, none of which are comfortable, all of which result in the cramping of muscles I thought I had lost long ago. It all adds up to one tired, sore, cranky Mama, for whom there is not enough coffee in the world! (Also, we have a smallish bed, in which three bodies just do not fit....) And on most nights, my Buggie sleeps very well in her little bed, which is a mere 18 inches from my own pillow.

Now, upon Waking For Good this morning, I totally realize that last night's shenanigans happened because she needed to ignite a Bug Bomb. (For laypeople, this translates to "fill her diaper with toxic substances capable of leveling Daddies of all dispositions.) Since my Buggie only does this once or twice a week, it really is quite the production. Broadway would be stunned. The drama is intense, and it literally draws the entire family into its thickening plot.

She nearly-never poops when her Daddy is home, a fact which never ceases to delight him! Last night, though, as we had settled into our Rosary and My Darling snuggled with his smallest girl, he glanced at me with rather an odd look about his sweet, handsome face. He got up quietly and went to the changing table. Upon removing the Bun (so-named because we use these), he encountered the Bug Bomb. They are stealth, my friend! You cannot smell the horrors therein when they are encased in the's pretty much a big ol' surprise party just waiting for the Guest of Honor! .....Which turned out to be My Darling last night.

Now, I know that we should be focused in our prayer. Really, I do. And though we strive for this as our goal, there are times when it is just not possible. When the Bug Bomb continues to explode even after the "shell casing" has been removed, concentration is not possible when there are other children around. The giggles erupted like so much baking soda and vinegar. Think Coke--"Shaken, not stirred."

It was plentiful.

It was stinky.


And apparently, it was the first of two such weapons to be deployed.

And so, Dear Reader, you are witness to an entry devoted entirely to dirty diapers and the treasures to be found therein.

BUT! Oh yes, the sliver--if not fleecy--lining to this would be the joy of clean diapers, mine to fold, soft on the rump roast and the reason her little tushie is so adorable in baby jeans......

We are a cloth diapering family, and my goal in this small area is to keep the basket next to the changing pad stocked and ready for action, making the changing of the guard an easy prospect, and one that indeed even a child can engage in!
I DID get to fold diapers this morning. This occurs every other day or so, after they've been washed clean. They come down from the drying rack smelling faintly of the lavender oil that I put into the final rinse (along with white vinegar and tea tree oil to help balance the pH and add a bit of antibac to it all).

I am one of those weirdos who actually doesn't mind folding laundry (save the sorting and pairing of socks--this is drudgery meant for minions who masquerade as children!). I like to see the neatly organized stacks of folded garments, ready to be put neatly into the proper drawers tossed carelessly about the room, only to wind up back in the hamper.

Diapers are another category all together. I am the only one who folds them, because I am rather particular about them in the end. "Do it right, do it once," I tell my brood! Well, in the case of diapers, that means I am the only one who does it at all. (This enables me to be the kind Mama I strive to be, rather than the grumbling Mama I turn into all too often.)

Ah....the wrestling boys who have engaged one another since midway through my blogging have run out of steam--but only because one of them is now in tears. My attention is needed.

And it's library day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Winter Wonderland

When it's well below zero, as it was last week for most of the week, even the running rivers steam.

I grew up in a river community. The house that our family owned (and where my mom still lives) was only a block from the river bank. When I was small, across the street from the house there was a lumber yard. When the village was first settled, the loggers would float the logs from up north down the river to the mill, where the lumber workers would draw them out, plane them down, and stock and sell the lumber or ship it out on the train.

I remember the yard being sold when I was seven or eight years old, and the buildings being used for a controlled burn by the local fire department. The fire was so hot that we could feel it scorch our faces from about a hundred yards away as we watched from our front porch with dishes full of popcorn.

There's a bank there now.


The river is always a great spectacle during the winter. When everything else is frozen solid and appearing to be completely devoid of all things living, the river teems with life. Though the ducks and geese have gone for the winter to warmer surroundings, the bald eagles have come in great numbers. They nest along the bluffs and soar high above the village, watching the river and its banks with their sharp eyes, waiting for a quick meal. With their wings wide open, they are the majestic kings of the sky.

Think of it! Think of a man, standing six feet tall or better, and then of a bird whose wings would outstretch his height. It never ceases to amaze me, pondering the variances of God's great creations: the smallest hummingbird would scarcely be visible next to the talloned foot of the great bald eagle. Yet each of them is perfectly designed, purposefully and beautifully created by the same God who created my soul and yours.



I remember waking up at Gram's house when I was small. Her living room windows looked out on the river, and in January and February, it was always a sight to behold.

This time of year, the water is always warmer than the air. Because the river which flows past town never freezes, when it's bitter cold, the river lets off steam into the air above it.

And on frigid days, this steam clings to every single branch, every blade of marsh grass, every tiny leaf which has still managed to hang on...and it freezes there. The result is something out of CS Lewis' Narnia--a shining, sparkling wonderland of pure white hoarfrost.

While butterflies and violets delight the senses during the warm summer months, this gorgeous natural masterpiece is a blessing to the eyes of all who gaze upon it.

I'll have to take the camera out next time God graces us with the beauty of hoarfrost...


And another delight?

My Pumpkin, my Snuggle Bug...she is two months old this very day.

And I am blessed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


You are usually very straight-forward. You have a passive personality and enjoy nurturing those around you. You are very grounded and prefer to keep things simple and honest.

Find out your color at!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Seven Weeks

See what happens? A lovely creature comes to reside in my home and nestle close to my heart, and I completely ignore my blog. Can you blame me? And now I need to add that I began this post days ago and am only now coming back to finish it up. It's amazing how fast the time goes by, and how busy we've been......



It was on Monday. The 29th of December, for Pete's sake. And it was extraordinary.

The Godfather presided at Holy Mass. The beauty of the day made it more than Just Week Day Mass, for Pete's sake. While I had been saddened that my Little Bug wasn't going to be baptized at Sunday Mass like the rest of our babies had been, her baptism was so different from the others--so much more intimate and meaningful, if that's possible. There were about 60 people in attendance--all friends and family--and the participation during Mass was heartfelt and strong.

During the baptism, which followed the Mass, we found ourselves joined at the font by several children who wanted a better view--the closeness was stunning. My little Monkey rested his crossed arms upon the edge of the font, and then cradled his chin in his little hands.

All of us--me, My Darling, and the Dear Godparents--held the Little Bug as Msgr. poured the water over her head (and the monkey exclaimed, "Oh, she's a good girl to not cry!") and then anointed her little head with the Holy Chrism Oil.

A bit later, when My Darling lifted the Monkey up to see the baptismal candle being lit, his eyes were shining with joy. And then when the candle was given to us--handed by Monsignor to My Darling--the Monkey's little hand came out to receive it.

The feast which followed was a true celebration of life. We had turkey and stuffing, corn, carrots, tomatoes, peaches, and a dessert table which fairly bowed beneath the weight of its sweet bounty.

***I must take a moment to let you know that this is where I left off originally...and I think it may have had something to do with the difficulty I've had adding the pictures I want to share. Something about Photobucket putting in the originals, rather than the cropped versions which focus in on what I want them to, while making the pictures actually fit.

But I digress.

Things have been busy, but not so busy that I have forgotten the beauty of that Baptismal day. We made sure to rub the hood of her bunting on her little head, causing such a deposit of the sweet oil inside the hood that despite many baths since, she still manages to retain the smell of the Holy Chrism Oil. Hey, call it cheating if you want; all I know is that every time we get her out of her bunting, she smells wonderful...

She has also begun to smile and coo. Yesterday she turned eight weeks, and this is one of my very favorite ages of babyhood. A couple of her noises are little creaks or chirps, and my older girls have decided that her Official Family Nickname should be Cricket. It's cute enough, I suppose, but I'm not ready to make it official until I know it's going to stick the way Bug/Buggie has stuck. Her little words are so joyful sounding that they make the evenings much easier to bear.....

.....and the evenings need to be easier to bear. I don't think I would call her officially colicky at the moment, but she's getting awfully close. If she does end up with the colic going on, she'll be our Third Colicky Baby. As much as I prayed for a calm, easy-going baby, I am also beginning to settle my heart into the notion that she might not be.

Here's why.

I chatted with Fr. E., the Godfather, my dear friend. I said to him, "I am not suffering well. I am beginning to feel the resentment creep in. I do not want to feel resentful toward my beautiful baby girl." He said, "You need to suffer well. It is for souls. Perhaps even for mine."

Then I had a dream. In my dream, I was talking with C., my friend who lost her little boy just after my Snuggle Bug was born. In the dream, she was trying to discern what lesson God was teaching her through her mourning, and she said that the lesson was clearly to suffer well. When I woke up, I pondered this dream throughout the day.

She called me that afternoon. I told her about my dream. And you know, the amazing thing is that she told me that's the idea that's been on her heart lately.

God has really been placing this dear woman on my heart in prayer--and I mean constantly. As I cook supper, as I fold laundry, as I change diapers, and even as I dream at night. I told her this. I also told her about the talk that I had with Fr. E., and that over the couple of nights between my talk with him and my conversation with her, I had been offering every single fussy second for her. Because even if her baby were crying his little eyes out every minute of every day, I know she wouldn't care--just so long as he were in her arms.

But her arms are empty.

And we both cried.

And it's been more joyful since. The long hours of my Little Bug crying have been hard on my back, but not anymore on my spirit. It's always easier to go through a trial when you know it's being done with a good purpose.

Eight weeks....fifty-six days. Well, today it's fifty-seven. Nearly two months. It seems like an absolute age ago that I was frustrated at being on bed rest, and now I have this beautiful little girl who smiles at me and fills my arms and my heart.

God is good.