Sunday, November 29, 2009

You know you're Catholic when....

When I was on bed rest, pregnant with the Pudge, the thing that grieved me the most was missing Mass. I longed for the familiarity and the simplicity of the rituals of signing myself with holy water, hearing the organ and the choir, participating in the liturgy as one of the faithful...and partaking of the Eucharist--receiving my Lord, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.

When My Darling and the children would return from Mass, they would give me their sweaters, and I would spend the next hours inhaling the sweet fragrance of incense, which is used every week in our parish. With so many young men gathering to serve every Sunday in the vesting sacristy, there are always plenty of jobs to hand out, including Crucifer, candle bearers, thurifer, boat bearer, zuchetto, Vimpas for the miter and crosier, book bearer, etc., etc., etc.....Last year, because he was new-ish and rather on the small side, my Pickle was frequently boat bearer--which meant that he stuck to the thurifer like glue, and came home plastered with the smell of incense all over his clothes, in his hair, on his know, until he started to smell like boy again.

So today, because of the Pudge's measles, for Pete's sake, we went to Mass in shifts (which we pretty much never do!). My Darling went to our traditional Mass this morning, taking with him the Frog, the Monkey, and the Pickle. Reepicheep and Pudge and I stayed home. Pudge and I got a wonderful nap in, and Reepicheep was able to watch The Lord of the Beans unhindered by the Monkey, who often begs for the funnier scenes to be repeated many times over, until the whole point of even watching the movie becomes moot.

When the first shift returned home, My Darling sat next to me on the couch.

I could not help myself. I smashed my nose into his shoulder and took such a deep breath that fibers from his shirt landed in my very toes. He smelled sooooooooooooooooo good. The kind of good that makes you want to keep breathing it in until you absolutely explode from having so much goodness inhaled into your lungs, and upon exhaling, you groan involuntarily simply because.

I said to him, "They used a different incense today."

He responded, "Well, you know dear, it is Advent, after all."

Yes--Happy New Year, liturgically speaking. Welcome to cycle C of the readings. And since the priest now wears purple--now you can play the Christmas-y-type songs.

The measles, by the by, are on their way out the door--thanks be to God! The rash is fading quickly from her face--her forehead now looks slightly tanned, rather than angrily burned. The spots are still there, but a bit lighter, and mostly when she's overly warm or has been playing hard or crying. Last night marked the first night that she truly slept in better than a week--meaning that I, too, got a bit of sleep, which I desperately needed.

Keep up the prayers for our friends AJ and Sarah, for Rebekah and ber baby sibling, and for her cousin JP. They need them.

Bloggy Wonderfulness

My dear friend Mama Midwife sent me a link to the most craftylicious, pretty, eye candy I've seen in a long time. And besides all that, it has a fabulous name!

I give you: The Angry Chicken! The category which is the feast for the eyes is this one, and I do encourage you to Ooh and Aah over it as I did. I squealed. I daydreamed. I planned.

My girls and I shall be whipping bunches of these up for Christmas all I have to do is pick one to start with, for Pete's sake!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just a quickie--

I'm catching up on my blog reading, and spotted this gem for Advent preparation. What a wonderful resource! A nod to Pat for posting this.

Huh? Who, me??

I'm so sorry. I've been neglecting my poor blog, and now I think it's wincing from the sudden onslaught after days and days of disuse.

We have the measles around here. Well, actually, the Pudge has the measles.

Also, SHE'S ONE!!

Yeah--it's been crazy.

When the heck was my last entry, anyway? Way back in the dark ages of the Swine Flu (or as My Darling likes to spell it, "The Pig Flew"--get it? Get it???? Now all that other crazy stuff can happen.....) which was better than a month ago? No, surely I've written since then.

My Pudgie's birthday was a whole week ago. We celebrated just as a family, choosing to gather with our dear friends--and Pudgie's Godparents--in December, on the anniversary of her baptism. The Frog made a cake, and the Pudge totally went for it. We cleared the table so that only the cake remained, then we lit the candle, sat her on the table, and sang to her. I had to hold her back to keep her from grabbing that little flame, but after the Monkey helped her puff it out and I let her go, she had a fantastic time! I promise pictures will be posted. I just have to get my hands on the Frog's camera.

The Reepicheep also had a birthday--she entered the Double Digits! Since her birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving, that's when we've traditionally celebrated with family. Her big present this year meant that she finally got her ears pierced. She's hemmed and hawed about this for around four years, for Pete's sake. We allowed the Frog to get hers done for Christmas when she was in first grade, and offered the same opportunity to the Reepicheep. She flatly rejected it, and happily ignored the possibility for about ten minutes, after which she began reasoning out every single aspect of being able to dangle various shiny objects from her earlobes.

Having spent the better part of the last four years pinching her ears to see Just How Much It Really Would Hurt, she finally said that she perhaps just might possibly want to reconsider her hastily made decision, and would we think about maybe talking about discussing whether or not we might permit her to try again? (Really--when she talks, she takes her time and says nearly all of these things!!! It's slightly maddening.....but terribly cute!)

So we did. On Wednesday, we hopped over to the shopping center and popped into the Girly Girl Store and she sat up in the chair and squeezed the fingers right off of my left hand, and choked nearly to stuffed animal death the teddy bear she was given to hold, and when all was said and done--she came away with sparkly little flowers on her dainty lobes. She is fairly smitten, and has been seen casting grinning glances into whatever reflective surface is within ten feet.

On about the measles.

Did you know that in the generation before mine, the mothers who carried their babies passed on all kinds of natural immunity to things we now immunize for? Like measles, mumps, chicken pox....just to name a few. This meant that when their children got those diseases, their immunity was for life, with no need for a booster. Since I was immunized as a child, I haven't passed those immunities on to my children--which means that they need boosters for their immunizations that I didn't need--which means that in just a few generations, what in the world will we be able to do??? Just a thought.

So last Saturday, my little Pudgie, Freshly Turned One, began sporting a fever. It rose pretty quickly, as fevers are wont to do, and parked at about 102. I Motrined her back to sleep, and woke up with a sweaty, feverish little thing plopped onto my back by the Frog.

I figured, well, she's probably teething those molars in. After some more Motrin, we loaded up in the van and went to Mass. There was nothing else going on afterward, so we came home to have our quiet time. Her fever climbed right back up again--this time getting to 104. We began with the tepid bathing, cool washcloth for the head, nursing-like-a-newborn, Tylenol and Motrin regimen, and didn't look back until Wednesday. I put a call in to our wonderful doctor, Dr. Renee, and had a phone consult. We had just a couple of runny diapers, a drippy nose, and teary eyes--but nothing else, save for the fever. She said to keep an eye, and that with no clear signs of any infection, it was likely viral anyway, so there wasn't much to do for it but watch and wait. It was Wednesday evening that I noticed the little white spots in the Pudge's mouth--and later that night that just above her brow became reddened. It spread p into her hairline, covered her scalp, poked it's rashy little nose in behind her ears, and looked like it meant business.

Thursday dawned, and the fever was completely gone, thanks be to God! We got through the day hosting My Darling's parents and his sister's family, and after the turkey had been eaten and stored and everyone left, My Darling gave the Pudge a bath. It occurred to me that I hadn't changed her all day--it had fallen to others, since I was busy playing hostess. When she was brought out of the bath, I had my first peek at the spots which now covered my little sweet Pudge.

I will say it looks a lot less menacing than chicken pox. This rash is red, raised little dots, but they're only about the size of the head of a pin. There are a lot of them, to be sure, but they're not those big nasty blistery things of the pock nature.

Her nose has dried up a little bit. Her eyes are still runny, and red--it looks like she's been having a marathon cry, though goodness knows she hasn't.

She's tired, but restless. I know that when I go up to the bed, it will be not to sleep, but to hold my little Pudge while she wrestles with the idea of sleep, but never really gives in completely.

Everything I've read says that she should be markedly better in about two more days. We're weighing whether or not she should go with us to Mass on Sunday, or if we'll go in shifts so that My Darling and I both get to go.

I will check in again tomorrow.....hopefully with pictures and a promising update.

Please pray for my little Pudge, continue your prayers for AJ and Sarah, and add Rebekah and her baby sibling.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

As Fr. Longenecker would say....

....chust for nice. (Ok, really for a big, fat laugh. Because it's really that funny.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I've posted this song before, with a different video, but this one is a little better. It's just really been on my heart lately, and I have a minute to post it. AJ and Sarah, this is for you, friends. Steph, Rebekah, you too.

Love you all so much.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Buffer Zone

It's late. Really, I'd much rather be in bed, but My Darling took the Pudge up just a short while ago, and I need to give him time to get her to sleep.

Besides, I need time to get my thoughts in order, and this is where that happens. Please excuse any lack of cohesion, but this is where you, the reader, are captive audience to my thought-spew. Great visual, isn't it?


Saturday.........what an absolutely glorious day! Indian Summer made its return to the Midwest, and we welcomed it with arms wide open. My Darling needed to take care of sighting in his gun for deer hunting, so he took Pickle, Reepicheep and Monkey with him up to Mama Midwife's house. Her husband and My Darling went out onto their land and, well, shot at things. Word has it they used a barrel for a target, and it only took 3 shots for him to get the job done. Pickle and Reepicheep each got to take one shot with a .22--under the watchful eyes of both men, mind you, one of whom is not only a county deputy, but also a hunter safety instructor. Pickle said it was awesome. Reepicheep said she's done. :) Atta girl!

While they were gone, the Frog, the Pudge and I were outside. Because when it's 75 degrees in November, you dang skippy better be outside! I've been waiting and waiting to plant my bulbs. I grabbed them several trips back at our second home the home improvement store, and finally it was pleasant enough outside to get my attention. When the wind came through some weeks ago, it brought this oppressive cold, grey sky with it, and it's been windy, cold and rainy ever since. This weekend began a lovely trend of fair weather that I would far prefer lasting into December....but I know it won't. At any rate, the Frog brought the Pudge outside, along with a blanket. The two of them sat and soaked up the Vitamin D, while I yanked the weeds out of a bed My Darling put in for me three years back.

I had originally intended this bed to be full of red and yellow flowers, and even planted seeds--but nothing ever came of it. So for the past two years, I've been working in compost and letting it go weedy--and then pulling everything out. I've mulched it and enriched it, so that this last time, there were some weeds, but not many by any stretch. On Saturday, I planted red and white parrot tulips, pink fringed tulips, red double late tulips, white hyacinths, and purple/yellow/white crocuses. I still need to get more mulch on top of them, but the weather is to be wonderfully fair for the rest of the week.

While I was working on planting the bulbs, the Pudge was working on planting her little eyelids shut. She ended up napping on the lawn (nestled in with her boppy pillow and blankie) for nearly two hours! The Frog stayed outside with her, and when I went in to clean up my hands and throw open every window in the house, I ended up sprawling across the bed and dozing off myself.

The afternoon brought the final lawn mowing of the year, with the Monkey riding on the tractor with My Darling, grinning that humongous grin that he gets around any motor. It was a truly fantastic Saturday afternoon.

Sunday began as usual--we shared breakfast together and prepared for Mass. My Darling drove us in to town, while I applied my make-up. I'm absolutely proficient at applying mascara whilst bouncing around at highway speeds! So we got to Mass, settled in our pews, the boys processed in with the Crucifix, incense, and candles. Monsignor censed the altar, we prayed, we sang the Gloria, we prayed some more..........and the fire alarm went off.

In a church where incense is used--heavily--every single Sunday, the usual routine has been to silence the alarm. But apparently there was a day last week when the company which services the alarm system had to come do some maintenance, and the thing hasn't worked right since.

The lector read the first reading, but there was no way the cantor could sing the Psalm with the incredibly loud noise beating in her ears. Not that I would know--by that time (about 5 minutes), those of us with little ones had gone outside to the front steps to protect our babies' ears. After what seemed an interminably long time, people began streaming through the doors and onto the sidewalk--Monsignor had dispensed everyone's Sunday obligation, encouraging them to attend the later Mass at the other church in our parish.


Now, I had been mulling over in my mind whether or not to receive the Eucharist, but for Pete's sake, to just have it not offered presented quite a shock to my spirit.

I've definitely been given a wake-up call as to just how blessed we are to live where we do, and have the luxury of just attending a later Mass--of having that option! What an amazing thing!! And how often do people take it for granted? How often does my family take for granted that we can just pop in to Mass any day of the week, at almost any hour we want?

Never again, My Lord, I promise.

We did go to the later Mass, thanks be to God.


Between the Mass-that-wasn't and the Mass-that was, we were visiting with some friends. Our family and three others came together at another family's home. The dads and boys were going out with wagons collecting food for a local Catholic food pantry, so the moms, sisters and little ones got to stay back and have a nice afternoon. The older girls watched the little ones, and the in-betweens played outside. We women were left with our nurslings to discuss.

What did we discuss? Our Husbands, of course! We are all couples who take part in the diocesan Marriage Preparation ministry, and it was so awesome to talk with other women who strongly value our marriages, and know well how to keep things in perspective. It was so uplifting, and great to have honest feedback about things that we all experience in our marriages.


I found out this morning that my grandma has been hospitalized with a heart ailment. She's in ICU again tonight, but they anticipate being able to move her to a regular room tomorrow sometime. They are switching her from an IV med to the same medication in pill form, and just want to be sure that she tolerates the change. God willing, she'll go home Wednesday. Please keep her in your prayers.


Well, there it is. Sorry it's not more inspirational, more organized.....whatever. I'm just not up to it. The good news is--I think the Pudge is asleep.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Small Success Thursday

I'm so discombobbulated today, I guess I ought to get this posted before it's Friday--uh, that gives me ten whole minutes.


I suppose it's a success that I snuck in a nap. Since I upped my meds, I'm feeling a bit more like myself, but I'm still struggling to get the rest I truly napping is good. I snoozed with the Monkey, which is always a treat.

I sat in the kitchen with My Darling this evening. We ate nearly alone, after the kids inhaled their supper and scooted down to play in the basement. It was almost a date--and it was only interruped three or four times. And we only had to tell the interlopers to leave five or six times before they got the hint.

When I was hungry today, I reached for actually healthy food, rather than just plain empty calories. Empty calories are so delicious........Nutty Bars are my heroin, for Pete's sake. But they are really helping to "Widen My Assets," if you catch my drift. And I think you do. I'd rather not widen anymore, thankyouverymuch.

And so, my final success is a bit of a pre-success--perhaps more of a statement. I hereby endeavor to use the exercise equipment I have here in my home. I have some little hand weights, resistance bands, yoga block dealios (um, the lumbar pad of which currently resides in my seat in the van....), and an exercise ball (which was bought for use in labor--which definitely counts as exercise!). You know, this whole statement feels vaguely familiar. I'll have to check back through my old stuff to see if I've made this particular statement before................

There are lots of other people here celebrating their successes today.....what are yours?


Please continue to pray for AJ and Sarah. Their news today was not as good as they were hoping for. Please pray for strength, peace and grace to carry the Cross He has seen fit to bless them with.

Prayer Request

Would you please keep my friend AJ and his lovely bride Sarah in your prayers? It would mean the world to them. Any time at Adoration, any Masses, any mortifications, any Rosaries--any and all, however the Holy Spirit moves your heart would be fantastic.