Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Where Have I Been?



I've been living in a world of softest skin, sweetest smells, and crisply laundered receiving blankets. There have been diaper changes, pajama changes, nursing position changes and a whole lot of holding and cuddling and staring between. There are lots of little squeaky noises and nursling breathy sounds and sneezes preceded by a scream (Does anyone else's newborns scream when they sneeze?). We have wrinkly brow and gassy smiles and a mouth shaped like a little O. Nothing much really happens here according to the standards of the rest of the world, and yet the moment has me trying to hold on to these days that are all a blend and slow time that flies faster than ever before. This is where I have been and there is no place I'd rather be.

Happy 2009, Everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Favorite Christmas Pics


Yule log. Thank you, Grandma.

Baby's first Christmas.
He liked the lights.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!



Thank you, Kristen.



Thank you, Margot.

And a great big thank you to all of you for sharing our joy at the arrival of baby Micah.

May the Nativity of Our Lord bring you joy and peace.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Unto Us, a son is Born





With great joy, we welcomed...

Micah
Benedict Joseph
Temple

on December 19th, 2008
12:34 PM
7.5 lbs, 21 in.

comments open

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Here

Everything is done and ready for baby. Of course there are always little things that can still be done and so I've been doing those. I'll run to the library with an overdue book and return it. "There," I think to myself, "THAT was the last thing God wanted me to have done before baby arrives." The next day I'm mailing off a medical payment, "Surely THAT was the last thing that needed to be done." Every day brings a new little chore and the feeling that my having replaced the HVAC filters, sent an email, picked up candy canes, or ordered holiday flavored coffee will somehow bring on real labor. One of these days I will be right. There will be a last chore completed and baby will arrive some day. Until then, I appreciate all your prayers. So many have emailed me to say they are thinking of me and praying for me. I can feel your support and it is so much appreciated. Thank you.

What's the whale picture got to do with any of this? I don't know. Simeon drew that whale and it just spoke to me. I looked at her. She looked at me. We just seemed to understand one another. Not sure why...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Harry Belafonte - Mary's Boy Child

Today, I'm folding laundry and listening to this over and over again.This is one of my top ten favorite Christmas songs ever.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday, Alexander!


Happy Birthday, Alex. You were such a lovely baby. You were the cuddliest, sweetest, little bundle of love born in the cold of December. I remember snuggling with you through the winter evenings and nights while snow storms blew just outside the window. We loved the blizzards because they were beautiful and we had everything we needed right there at home--we had blankets and books and warm hot chocolate and diapers and flannel pajamas and each other. Let it snow!

Now, you are so grown up and you have become such a help around the house. You like to wash pots and mop floors and load the dishwasher. You draw so well. Without fail, you thank me every night for making dinner (even if all I did was order pizza). You're great at assembling things and you make the coolest stuff out of scrap wood and leftover hardware. It is such a joy to watch you grow!

We love you, Alex. Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Feast of Guadalupe!


Patroness of the Americas
Pray for us.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Outsourcing Labor

Simeon: (hollering down the stairs) Fedex!

Jacob: Oh look! It's a big box. I think it's the baby!

Alex: Jacob, the new baby is not coming by Fedex.

Jacob: I meant his crib.

I Can't Win

Zachary: Do you like my picture, Mama?

Me: Oh yes, Zachary, that's very nice. I do like that.

Zachary: Hmmmm...you seem to like everything.

The Drawbacks to being Adorable

Simeon: Nicholas is trying to give me an angry face, but all he is is cute.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Visions of Sugarplums


Temple Baby's take home outfit: This is the last thing I see when I go to bed at night and the first thing I see when I wake up each morning.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Happy Immaculate Conception!


St Anne expecting the Virgin Mary
Jean Bellegambe

Good St Anne, pray for us.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Happy St Nicholas Day!

Nicholas on the Eve of St Nicholas enjoying hot chocolate and Candy Cane Joe Joe's (available for a limited time only) around the Advent wreath.

This morning the boys found St Nicholas had left them a fine selection of Dover Christmas coloring and craft books and new art supplies. Everyone has found a corner of the house and is working intently coloring angels, snowflakes and stained glass nativity scenes. All is peaceful.

Happy St Nicholas Day!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And We Shall be Changed

Motherhood changes you. Motherhood changes you forever in ways you might expect and also in ways you'd never know and could never have anticipated. When a new life is conceived within her, a woman becomes something new-- something she can't fully comprehend in the moment, but that unfolds over time like the petals of a rose in bloom. She becomes a mother. This a beautiful truth and the underlying reality behind a similar, but tragic truth: Abortion changes you.

When my first son was just a few weeks old, I took him to the pediatrician for a routine visit. When the nurse placed him on the scale, we saw that he had gained a considerable amount of weight since his last appointment. He was thriving. "Very good," the nurse said handing my child back to me. He was healthy. It was good. And then suddenly it was something more...

Much to my surprise, I was overcome by a wave of pride that washed through my entire body, this warm and glowing feeling of dizzying accomplishment. I had never before, or since, felt anything like it. I wondered about it on the drive home. Where could such a feeling have come from? What was it about?

The best I could understand it then and even now is that all the concerns of pregnancy and birth and caring for a newborn, the physicality and detail of it all melted away for a moment and I saw for the first time in that tiny medical office how I had changed and who I had become. I had become a source of life and a sustainer of life. A beautiful boy who had not been in the world a few short months before was now here and was thriving. I was a cause of this life, of his growing strength and of his obvious health. Nothing I had ever done up to that point had even come close to being so hugely important, so eternally significant. I had become a mother.

That is why I find stories like these so sad. Mothers who choose abortion are still mothers. Even the pro-choicers talk about the health of the "mother." If she is a mother, then where is her child? Abortion does not take motherhood away. Abortion does not undo motherhood. Women who choose abortion are mothers and they have been changed forever. To their surprise, many come to experience feelings opposite of those feelings of pride and accomplishment that I unexpectedly felt at my young son's doctor's appointment. Many lose a sense of self worth, fall into depression and engage in destructive behaviors. I feel deeply for these women and hope that they find healing this Advent and Christmas season.

As Catholics, and especially during this season of expectation and nativity, we honor the motherhood of Mary. She was the mother not of a "blob of tissue" before His birth and not simply of a human nature after His birth. Mary, the Church affirmed in the early centuries and for the preservation of the true faith, is the mother of a person as all mothers are mothers of persons. Mary is blessed among women and a mother to us all because that person is the second Person of the Divine Trinity, the Word of the Father, the First Born into the resurrection, the God man, Jesus Christ, who saved us all from death and offers us eternal life. And there is the hope. In Him, all can find healing. In Him, all are changed.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It Makes More Sense That Way

Jacob: (singing loudly) Hark the Angels, Harold sings!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Remember?

"Remember what's happening tonight?" Jacob asked full of excitement. This was shortly before a mac and cheese dinner I'd stirred together and considered quite an accomplishment as it required that I stand for a whole twenty minutes to prepare it.

"Oh no," I thought. What did I promise? Had I planned something? Did I say we'd do something? Go somewhere?

"What?" I asked and braced myself for the answer.

"Look," he said, his nose pressed to the window. And there it was.

It was really beautiful. I'm glad he remembered. And I'm glad all it required on my part was to stand there and admire it with him.