Thursday, February 21, 2008

Also noteworthy.

The bad news? I have mastitis.

The good news? I have had it before and know what to do about it (and also happen to have a beautiful friend who has the power to 'call in antibiotics'!)

The best news of all?
My big boy, my five, almost six year old son, lost his first tooth today! And loved it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Worth it.

We've been ill. All of us staggered over the last few weeks. But this little package of deliciousness? He makes it totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Serious question.

Does it really work to put Vicks on the bottoms of your feet to suppress coughing at night?

Tell it to me straight. I can take it. If it works, I'm totally doing it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new.

The old would be all the contractors that have been in my house since we moved in. We're done with them. Yes, I said it. We're done. Until Spring.

We had a huge party over the weekend to say "thank you" to all those who helped us and to open our home to all those friends that have seen us through. There were over 30 people here, playing board games, poker, cards, wandering through the house and eating and drinking lots of deliciousness. We thank them.

The "new" would be the illness that seems to be ravaging my family right now. My posts have been infrequent, at best, and I vowed that this week would see a turnaround. Not quite so. God seems to have some plans of his own.

This illness? It involves, laryngitis, eye goop, deep chest coughing, nasal congestion, and a general feeling of exhaustion. I saw a mirage yesterday. I thought it was just me and I thought I was on the upswing of it. This morning, however, I see that I am not alone. We will trudge on and this week will be one of rest and recuperation. I will lounge and snuggle babies and read to them often. Because there are no contractors here, and because I don't have any other appointments than working out in the early morning and because my children need me and because... 

I can.

God is good.

Friday, February 08, 2008

This just in:

My baby likes binkies. Since when?! I don't know, but it's amazing to watch. He also has two teeth, crawls and tries to pull himself up. I wasn't prepared for it but it seems to be happening right before my eyes. He's growing up. Quite blatantly.

Since this is a Lenten Friday, we are headed up to the school gym tonight for family Stations of the Cross and a simple soup supper afterward. I have never looked so forward to simplicity in all my life. I worked out (with weights and everything!) at the gym yesterday and it hurt to walk down the stairs this morning. I am thinking simple is good. Very good, tonight.

Also, after reading Danielle's suggestion, we made a crown of thorns for our own dining room table. It was very cool to do with the kids and quite the teachable moment as we rolled out three long strands (representing the Holy Trinity), braided them, and placed toothpicks in the completed ring. It looks as authentic as dough and salt can and, as hypothesized, Ella is all over the good deeds. The boys are into it too but not quite like their sister. "Mom? Can I put that cup in the dishwasher for you? Mom? Can I clean the toys up for the baby? Mom? Can I unwrap that piece of gum for you?" 

Yeah, that's my girl. All about the rewards.
I have the Liturgy of the Hours, I have my Regnum Christi reflections for the day, I have my children to teach in the mornings, I have Stations of the Cross, I have a serious hunger for all things sweet. I am well on my way to mortification. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shrove Tuesday.

We just returned from a feast of pancakes, ham, eggs, juice and coffee with cream. It was good. We were made ready.

Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness may be helped and strengthened by self-denial.


A Blessed and spiritually fruitful Lent to you all and thank you for you love, gentle words, prayers and support. Today was a good day.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Depression is a funny thing.

Sometimes it can take the form of a sleepless woman, lying awake thinking about her failures or weaknesses. Sometimes it can take the shape of a new mom, drowning in despair or feelings of being lost. Sometimes it strikes teens who, thrown into a world quite too big for them, begin to feel as if nothing they do is right, the person that God made them to be isn't good enough. No matter what it looks like, there is a way out. Sometimes it's a long way off, other times it is just a few encouraging phone calls, a couple blog entries, or a couple prayer group meetings away. I am thanking God that I happen to be one for whom the latter seems to be working. 

A few beautiful blogging friends have shared about feelings of being in limbo, disorganized or like their lives are just feeling dim these days. They haven't wanted to share that. They have been biding their time until the cloud passes. I have been waiting, too. I've been waiting to feel 'like myself' again before I blog. Well, I can't wait any longer. It felt so good to have a prayer group meeting this morning, welcome a new mom who is pregnant with her fifth and have a mini baby shower for  another mommy (who happens also to be Paxton's Kindgarten teacher). It felt good to have people in my home, the work-in-progress that it is. To be okay with the fact that things are undone and I can give it up amongst these women who see me clearly. They see my faith. They see my feelings of being overwhelmed. They see my fear of not being good enough. They see me struggle with being open to life and at the same time worrying that the fact that, for right now, I am just tired of being pregnant or nursing, means that I am not open to life. Is that what it means? I hope not. I pray not. I pray.

We have been inundated with contractors coming and going , children (other peoples') coming and going, Catholic Schools Week and all the insanity that comes with celebrations and activities at the school every day, and sick children for what has been almost three weeks now. I am tired. My husband is tired. As my mom says, exhaustion colors the way you see everything. Yesterday was the first day in a week that I hadn't cried at some point in the day. Steve's mom came over and did our laundry. All day. She snuggled babies, folded clothes and sacrificed her day to help me. I didn't cry yesterday. I wanted to sing. I loved having the help and at the same felt guilty for taking it and shhhh....enjoying it. A lot.

How do we practice mortification and prioritize the 5 p's at the same time? 1)How do we glorify God, 2)offer up our sacrifices with a smile on our faces, 3) put others first, 4) do the work to obtain graces so that we can keep doing the work, and at the same time take care of ourselves and ask for what we need so that we can keep doing numbers 1 through 4?

Depression, for me, does not take on the form of lying in bed all day, not getting things done or sleeplessness (although that happens naturally when you have sick children, of course). For me, it looks like feeling overwhelmed, feelings of self-loathe or not being good enough, begging God to just disclose to me what he wants from me. In the silence of my own mind, of course. Because to share it? That's weakness, that's whining. Nobody wants to hear me whine.

That's junk. 

I am sharing, dang it. I am sharing it because I know that every single person who reads this blog knows me--be it virtually relating or physically seeing one another regularly. You know me. You know I am happy. I strive to follow commandments. I share what I have with others. I try to put others first. I give. I am grateful for my many, many blessings. I have a deep, abiding faith that God will always take care of me, never abandon me, and that He offered Himself fully so that I might have life. A dang good one at that. 

I also happen to be a little down. Depressed. There. I said it. Relatively, it's a tiny cloud. Nonetheless, it's a cloud.  A cloud I am not used to or comfortable with. A cloud that will go away, little by little, if I ask God to help me see through it. If I share with those of you who know and love me. It makes no sense. It rarely does, I know. So...this too shall pass. Until it does? I'll just be here, praying and keeping my side of the street clean.

Pray for me. Love me. Advise me. 

And know that I am grateful. Eternally grateful that I have this safe place to ask for some prayers from women who trust God like I do and who know what it is to feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. Or like there are too many.