Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great and Holy Wednesday

It was not simply that over 2,000 years ago, lived a man, a great teacher, who performed miracles, and who folks claimed was God the Word Incarnate, then was sacrificed.  This all could be the fodder of legend.  No, it was His resurrection that was the impetus for our Faith.  It was real. 

Today’s Gospel on www.byzcath.org (Matthew 26:6-16) always gives me shivers—“a woman anoints Jesus with an expensive jar of oil…’Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial.’

Which brings me to today’s Easter basket preparation—Bittersweet beets with horseradish.  it is symbolic that Christ’s sacrifice is both bitter and sweet.  And since I had beet juice, I made pickled eggs for the first time.  I love these eggs, because they represent both the sacrifice and the renewal.

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Great and Holy Tuesday

Holy Monday was long and a little bit hard.  I began my Spring Cleaning and I had to wash all the laundry. I managed to clean all of the downstairs with my little helpers.  I also managed to wash all the laundry and put most of it away.  I was certainly wiped out by the evening.  I decided the Spring Cleaning will need to extend into next week in order to enjoy Sunday’s festivities.
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The next day, I completed shredding all the papers in our shred bucket and realized that I hadn’t shredded since last Easter.  That was not a good idea on my part to wait so long.  I will have to resolve to shred on a regular basis. 

In the afternoon, I lit incense and candles in our kitchen and made the butter lambs for our Easter basket and prayed the Jesus prayer.  And in the evening, I had to put away to rest of the laundry.  I have not accomplished everything I would have wished this week, but perhaps I can complete the most important things.  
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning Thru Passiontide

Yesterday, I read the Passiontide section of Maria Von Trapp’s book Around the Year with the Trapp Family.  She explained that in Austria the first three days of Holy Week should be spent doing Spring Cleaning in order to begin Easter season new and fresh.  The following three days of Holy Week are spent doing exclusively Holy things.  Not once did she mention food preparation for the festivities.  So when, WHEN! is the baking and preparing done?  Me thinks someone had a cook in Austria and in the U.S. she had 10 children to help.  I have reserved two hours (the children’s quiet time) each afternoon this week to prepare our Easter feast and such.  However, today I am going to really dig into Spring Cleaning, even though I did not prepare myself to do this, because boy does our house need a Spring Cleaning.  I do want to begin the Easter season new and fresh. 

Sunday popsicles, “on a hot summer day,” as Alexander would say.

100_1944Doll Baby

  100_1946 Yes, I know my son has blue chalk all over his face.
My only excuse is that he is three years old
and if I wiped his face every time he had something on it,
I would have wiped his face clean off by now.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Journal of a Stay at Home Mom

IMG_0192 Last Friday I left my job for the last time.  It was a very sweet farewell.  I was given lovely and relaxing good-bye lunch.  I am really going to miss that place.  The next day was dark, gloomy and rainy (the kids took time to kick around balloons while it was raining).  All weekend long I had dark, troublesome feelings, wondering if I made the right decision. Who leaves a perfectly good job, in good standing, and not for an upgrade in pay? Is this decision insane?  Especially, when our financial situation is not exactly stable (but it will do).  At the very least I could have stayed another six months until the new baby was born and we would have thousands more dollars in our pockets.  But, that’s not why we made the decision we did, now, in our current situation. So, moving forward.

100_1900Monday, there was no time to have “feelings” about my new fulltime job.  Game was on!  Another mom told me Monday was her laundry day.  I had already begun my laundry on the weekend as I usually do, but I did not finish it, so I thought Monday as laundry day was a good plan. I finished washing the laundry, but only managed to put away one load.  I also had A LOT of housework to catch up on, such as dishes and untidiness.  The housework was not completed either, but it was a good start. The kids and I made it to the park for a short while and we went to a couple of stores for fun—Alex’s idea.  All this activity had me wiped out.  I thought, “My body isn’t  used to this new job.”

Tuesday, I was welcomed with open arms into the stay-at-home mom community as we were invited to a toddler music class followed by a play date with the Waco Catholic Moms Group at the park.  It was a fun morning.  We made it back home by noon.  Kristiana went to take a nap.  Alex ate lunch.  Then I attempted to put Alex down for a nap.  However, it is decidedly so that Alexander’s body will not allow him to take midday naps anymore.  He usually does on the weekends, but it is just not happening during the week.  We will be working on quiet, alone time from now on.  This should not be a problem for Alex.  I had an appointment with my midwife and everything is a-okay with baby #3.  I have even felt a wiggle here and there when I lay on my back, late at night and hold still.  In the afternoon, we went outside into our 12X6 square feet of concrete fenced in private space.  I folded laundry on our porch table and the kids dug in my flower pots.

100_1918 Wednesday, I decided would be “low-key.” I let the kids watch two hours of PBS cartoons :-s in the morning.  I vowed that there would be no more T.V. for the rest of the day.  It was nice to start that way.  It gave me a chance to catch-up.  We had a minor bedding disaster in the middle of the night.  Someone forgot to put a nighttime diaper on Alex before bed.  Kristiana also had fits in the middle of the night. She screamed her head off for a n hour.  So I was a little tired and it took me an hour to fully wake up.  Then I rushed to changed bedding and tidy 100_1910up, shower and dress before our 10:00 a.m. trip to the library.  After lunch Kristiana took a long nap—Praise the Lord—and Alex went to his room for quiet time.  In the afternoon, Alex and I made Lenten pretzels. Except, not so Lenten since you are supposed to brush them with egg and butter.  I have been wanting to make pretzels for a month now, ever since our mom’s group a month ago when we talked about how the knot of a pretzel symbolizes folded arms praying, Byzantine style, and they are good food for a fast.  Later in the evening, three other children came over to play for our babysitting co-op.  It was our turn to babysit. That was our “low-key” day—I think.   

MaybornThursday, I found a little routine that I like.  I rolled around in bed until 7:20-ish.  Alexander awakened and climbed  in bed with me.  We rolled around in bed another twenty minutes.  Alexander liked this so much he talked about doing it again the rest of the day.  Then we went and woke up Kristiana.  We all went downstairs and I quickly prepared the kids’ breakfast, because I was starving too.  I ate a leftover Lenten pretzel and juice—good choice.  Then the kids watch PBS cartoons for an hour and I goofed on the computer and clean up the kitchen.  Then we all bathed and dressed, so we could go to the Mayborn Museum, which is a children’s museum.  They have about twenty rooms dedicated to children.  It’s all interactive.  Best of all, other friendly stay-at-home mom’s and preschoolers are always there guaranteed.  It’s hard to pry Alex away from this museum.  He always leaves crying.  When we came home the children were overtired and had trouble winding down, but they both took long naps.  We paid for that later on.  They stayed up a couple hours later than they usually do.  Alex invited all the neighborhood girls over to play with him.  The seven year old neighbor girls adore him.  I was pretty tired at that point. The new baby is sapping all my energy.

100_1940Friday, was more of the same morning routine.  Then we were off for another play date.  On the way I spied a   doughnut shop and realized I was hungry and had not brought a snack for myself.  So I turned my car around and stopped for doughnuts.  I bought two dozen doughnuts to share with everyone.  But, instead of there being seven moms and fifteen children, there was only two moms and two other children.  So between my family and the two others we only polished off a dozen doughnuts.  Oh well, there will be another dozen for us on Saturday.  Kristiana took another long nap and Alex spent a long time upstairs in his room quietly reading his library books.  So I took a long nap myself.  When we finally all woke up, we went to the library to pick a book and then out to the Texas Cheese Shop in the next town over to buy some of the components of our Easter basket.  It was a very low-key day.

All and all it was a good week.  I hope things go as well next week.  It’s a big week next week.  There’s a lot of praying and Easter preparations to be done.  Hopefully, I can start on my office project (I’m not holding my breath on this one).  I adore my children even more after getting to spend the whole week with them.  I got to know them better and spent their best ours with them.  There is still trepidation in my heart about our future, but I take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Feast Day

Today we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Feast in full fashion.

Last night, we read Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie DePaola. 

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   We woke up and donned our green.

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We made green, three leaf clover pancakes.

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We will eat a traditional boiled corned beef and boiled potatoes dinner.

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And my husband and I will pray St. Patrick’s Breastplate.
(Which is an all time favorite prayer for both of us.)

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
*

I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tot Talk: Fix It Up Pappie

Today, for the first time in a long time, I put my hair in ponytail

Alex: “Mommy, you hair looks pretty today.”

Me: “Thank you, Alex!”

Alex: “Did Daddy fix it for you?”

(He has picked up the very southern term fixing your hair.)

I don’t know where he got the idea that Daddy did my hair. Since I am the one who combs and fixes the kids’ hair, he must think that one cannot possibly fix one’s own hair. Someone has to do it for you. He’s very much an agape child. He follows the Spitzerian ethic of agape (http://www.robertspitzer.org), in which we must lovingly do for each other.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fallen Asleep

I think back to the fall when I had so much energy. I exerted so much energy and effort into household things—decorating and making our home hospitable, cleaning and laundry, meal planning and activities with the children. These days I barely have the energy to feed myself and it is very “buminating,” as Andrew would say. I have boughts of narcolepsy, which I cannot control or avoid.  I long for those days when I was in control of this body.

Poor Andrew can hardly stand my furrowed brow another moment. My face is all knit up holding back the gagging feeling. I thought that I was going to make it through this pregnancy without tossing a meal. Alas, Saturday morning was the end to my record. I was swept away in a gagging fit from which there was no return. I lost my Saturday morning doughnuts.

Then there are the quiet moments. The agonizing quiet moments, which are both edifying and cathartic, and a tempest of misery. From time to time throughout my days, I find myself in a mess of hot, steamy tears. It’s the normal routine that seems a little too stressful in my pregnant state of disarray. It’s the mother in the news article who lost her son. It’s faith on the deepest level—all evoke emotions once untapped.

My least favorite quiet moment is 3:33 a.m. It’s the time I wake up every morning. I hear the whimpers and murmurs of Kristiana in the next room. Then my bladder and my empty stomach begin to nag and I begin to have thoughts for the coming day. I roll out of bed and attempt to quiet all the noise. I settle the baby, visit the restroom and grab a cereal bar from the pantry. Then I flop onto the sofa and I begin to pray intensely to quiet my aching soul.

In a few more weeks I should emerge from this strange other existence. My rewards shall be great—a little kicking baby to bring a smile to my face. I only hope my husband can forgive the severe neglect and crabbiness. I only hope the Lord Almighty can forgive the selfishness I hold to so dearly as I drag myself through the mire.  I do not even suffer the pangs of the first trimester as greatly as some I know.  I will have a lot to make up for when I emerge.

My blogging may be scant for a few more weeks.