Friday, June 15, 2012

Big Milestones

I have been so proud of Maria lately, I had to find a place to brag about her.  So that is what this post will be about.  At 14 months she is such a big girl.

And a happy 1st anniversary of her baptism.  She officially joined God's family a year ago on Tuesday.  Does anyone have some great traditions for remembering that special day?

On to the big things she is doing.  What I am most proud and excited about is her big cousin skills.  She loves her 4 month old cousin and has somehow learned that you need to be gentle.  We have a great picture of her in that role thanks to my wonderful brother-in-law and his excellent camera!

Another exciting payoff of months of bedtime routine is Maria's ability to put things away.  We have carried her around with us while picking up at the end of the day.  Our modeling has worked because she will now put clothes in the hamper and toys in their respective places with only a little help.  Bedtime routine is now longer, but we don't have to carry her around and help her!

The most surprising milestone we are in the process of reaching is toileting.  I don't think ECers like the term potty training so I tried to stay away from it.  Maria chose now as the time for using the toilet.  There were a couple days she walked over and I let her sit.  So, about a week ago I decided to give her more diaper-free time and see what happened.  There have been a few accidents, but not as many as I would expect and we have not used more than three diapers (usually just one or two) a day in the past week.  This is excellent timing because my generous friend who let us borrow diapers for a year is needing them back for her little one on the way and I have only had the budget to buy ten of my own.  As luck would have it, that is all I seem to need for this child and will wait until the next to buy more (baby arrival gifts anyone?  Here is your idea if/when the next baby comes and you decide you would like to give a gift).

Other than that, we have been dealing with the pain of some more molars and swimming lots at the beach and in a couple different pools.  Maria loves that water and I am happy to spend my time there with her this summer :-)  We also had a great time at the zoo - once with daddy and once with Nana.

What a life :-D

Friday, April 27, 2012

The big One

Maria had her first birthday earlier this month.  It is crazy to think that my baby girl grew up into a toddler.  It seemed to happen overnight and I am still processing it.  Gone are the days of crawling and even walking is old news.  We have moved on to climbing and exploring the world around us.  Parks, wagon rides and games outside like watching the bubbles mommy makes are our new favorite activities.  Happily playing inside all day is a thing of the past so we try to either go outside or on at least one "field trip" every day.

I don't have many pictures on this computer right now, but I do have a lovely video to share.  This is a great Catholic singer/songwriter I just heard about AND the video includes two adorable toddlers that I'm sure Maria would be great friends with if we lived in FL.  The video is for her kickstart campaign to raise money for her next (and first full length) album.  Go here and check it out!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A week of highs and lows

We'll start with the low items first so we can end on a wonderful note

Last week a lot of pro-life people were pleased to hear that the Susan G Komen foundation stopped giving grants to planned parenthood. What a great help to women to focus more on cancer research and screening than to fund an organization that provides abortions which happen to increase your risk being diagnosed with breast cancer. That didn't last long though, senators and pro-choice groups gave Komen such a hard time that they reinstated the grants. How did that happen?

Another low is the fact that Catholics as well as people of other faiths will lose some of their freedoms in 2013 when employers will be forced to provide (pay for) birth control, abortion pills and sterilizations when it is against what we believe. Can someone tell me why the country is picking a fight with the Catholic Church when they run so many hospitals around the country? Please don't say women's health trumps religion because too many are saying that and I love my Catholic doctor who treated my symptoms by removing endometriosis surgically instead of putting me on hormones and not explaining what could be causing my pain. For a funny and eye-opening analogy check out Kaitlin's great post here.

Now for the highs

I heard about a couple pregnancies - praise God for new life!
I also became an aunt. I have a beautiful niece that I will finally be meeting tomorrow. I can't wait to see how Maria reacts to having someone younger than her in the family :-)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Culture of Life

So I know the big country-wide topic these days is contraception and the Catholic Church - hmm...that sounds a lot like a paper I know ;-) But that is not what is on my heart right now.

Let me get back to the idea of a culture of life. Many people believe children are blessings. New mothers are overjoyed by the arrival of their children and change forever. Less than a year ago, I experienced that glorious, and at times scary, upheaval of life as I knew it. I love being a mom even if I don't like some of the sleepless nights. I also love bringing my child with me when I go out and there is where the problem lies.

I am unashamedly an attached parent. I walk around with her in a carrier while I grocery shop and she loves it! I bring her places and let her explore while I have some adult moments in the company of my child. I let her learn about Mass by experiencing it every week and many people love to see her. But not all. And so, I must explain myself.

I realize there are some adult only places. I definitely wouldn't take my daughter to a night club and there are other events/locations to be sure. Mostly I think adult spaces are more that way because nothing there would interest children. I don't want Maria to be bored purely for the sake of me doing something I find entertaining. However, I do expect Maria to learn and discover what my daily life is like by accompanying me on errands and other commitments I have in my life.

One of those commitments occurred Saturday. I went to a mini-medical conference  The doctor talked about building a culture of life and accepting children as gifts. Thank you - what a wonderful message. Your words are lovely and were well received by many. Praise God, one of the local doctors actually looked into having her come to that hospital.  There were other presenters that were equally welcomed and informative and I was blessed to see the event take place at a distance.

I had come to help
by manning the registration table. Once my job was complete, I stood in the very back of the auditorium to see if I could catch any of this important family information. Shortly after I entered, I was taken outside by someone that I thought had a question for me. Instead, he told me I was being inappropriate and, though he loves children, she was a distraction to everyone in the audience and I should leave. Did I mention she had only babbled two words?

I completely understand the need for professionalism, especially when talking with doctors. The presenters dressed well and were prepared as professionals would be - complete with powerpoint slides and handouts. Yay for them. There was a NFP couple there to present their story. As presenters, they chose to leave their son with family so as to not be distracted while presenting. Perfectly acceptable decision. I was not presenting and my parents were out of town. I brought my lovely daughter. Even so, I was aware of the need for others to hear the presentation, so I didn't take a seat - I stood in back. I could be out of the room in a second with Maria if need be. Had she started crying or screaming, that would have been the case. She did not and I wanted to hear the presentation while being a witness to the idea of "openness to life" in daily activities. Maria does not know to be silent and I don't think people expected her to be. I felt comfortable bringing her because I knew I wasn't getting credit for being there so if I missed parts because of her volume it would be okay. I did not realize I would be banished from the beginning.

So my lasting thoughts

Our words
  • children are a blessing
  • be open to expanding your family with a gift from God
  • God created you and you should honor yourself, your fertility and your spouse
  • God creates and blesses your children
Our actions
  • children are a distraction
  • a child talking is inappropriate
  • children must not interrupt adult time

It is hard for me to digest that a "family life" event is not welcoming of children if they utter two sounds. A thank you to most everyone else in attendance for loving my child and asking about her. Special thanks to the two moms who were required to pump in the bathroom for showing empathy to me and my child. And...

A question for those promoting family life

How can our words be taken seriously if we scold anyone that has the nerve to bring his or her child to a public, family event?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maria's first Christmas

is upon us with many fun new things.

We put up the tree two weeks ago and at first it didn't seem like a big deal. We put it in front of our big window facing the street. That window happens to be in the formal living room that we don't really use yet so it took a while for Maria to figure out such an exciting thing was in the room. Now we crawl over, sit by it and feel the funny branches and plush santa ornament that is hanging within reach.

On Dec 5th we put out our shoes and on the morning of the 6th discovered St Nick came and got chocolates and a calendar for daddy and a personalized ornament for Maria. It was nice to celebrate the beginning of Santa Claus.

Speaking of Santa Claus, we did not go see him this year. We did not get invited to any breakfast with Santa events (missed my grandma and childhood memories when I thought of that) and we did not want to pay for the mall photo so we passed this year. I will need to research breakfast with Santa events in my area next year so we can have that experience.

We also recently discovered the fun of opening gifts with visiting friends. Maria has not quite gotten the hang of wrapping paper and needs quite a bit of help, but she did enjoy taking the tissue paper out of the bags and playing with the wrapping paper once already torn off. My friends are also 2 for 2 in gifts that Maria loves almost as much as the packaging. She got an old fashioned phone that rings when you dial and is on wheels with a pull cord. She also received a dinosaur walker that she is learning to use. It is a blast to watch her lean and push it forward and then figuring out how to move her feet to catch up.

I am excited to see Maria get excited again and again as the festivities continue. We are blessed to be around so much family and friends that we will have a new experience every day from Christmas Eve through the 29th. It has also been fun having her pass out gifts.

There are so many gifts for my family to be thankful for this year. Thank you Jesus for the gift of yourself and the many blessings we have received in 2011.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My mobile Maria

The day has come - she is full out crawling! Daddy is away this week for work (though he has witnessed the milestone) and won't be uploading crawling videos on youtube yet. I hope to catch her on tape sometime this week while playing single mom and moving in to our new house. Closing went well yesterday. Now I just need to pack, move and unpack all our stuff yet again. What an exciting, busy month November will be

Monday, October 10, 2011

Six Months

My baby girl is growing up. Now being a mom isn't considered a full time job. I keep getting questions - what do you do to keep yourself busy? Well, other than spending all day with my baby, getting chores done, maybe some cooking, and working out I wonder. I mean all you moms out there know how much free time we have. So here is a look at my typical day last week. We had a good week!

This was Friday
6:45 - get up and let husband get ready for work after he watched Maria for a bit while I got some sleep.
7:20 - leave for daily mass at 8
8:30 -coffee and donuts in the social hall, go and meet some of the parishioners at our new church
9:30 - head to mall to get some walking and socializing in with a mom and two girls
12:30 - go to Target to pick something up for an NFP class
1:30 - finally have time for a gourmet lunch - pb&j
2:00- nap time (mom included)
4:00 - chores (can't remember which were on my list last Friday)
4:45 - playtime!
5:15 - Maria took another nap - weird, some time to myself
6:30 - dinner with husband
7:00 - family walk
7:45 - bedtime routine
9:00 - a few moments with Husband to discuss the week, the upcoming move, our NFP class we taught the next day and a million other things we were supposed to discuss
10:00 - collapse into bed - what a thrilling Friday night!

I also go to La Leche Meeting twice a month, am part of a Bible study and book club, teach NFP and give presentations on top of the fall class we teach. I've also started playing guitar again while Maria plays in her jumper. Being a stay at home mom has challenges (among the numerous joys), but I have not found boredom to be one of them :-)

And speaking of my lovely 6 month old daughter. She is doing well, still a social butterfly - new people make her so happy and she them. She is balancing better while sitting now so I don't need to stay right next to her. Her new favorite toy is a metal whisk. And she can say "dada" although she doesn't realize what the accomplishment it is since she is just learning how to use her tongue and not actually talking. I wonder when she will get mom and dad's names right.