Saturday, July 27, 2013

Support head well!

So this whole blogging every day thing does sorta become habit forming... I was pretty sure I was done and then this thing happened to me today and all I kept thinking was how I wanted to get home and write about it!  

Today wasn't my birthday.  There is no flying bacon outside my window.  I'm also pretty sure it's not snowing in July.

But somehow I negotiated my way into sneaking off for the afternoon all alone to get a pedicure, perhaps a deliciously cold iced tea and a stroll through a few clothing stores.  Did I also mention I didn't even have to take Sam?  

I better check my drivers license... maybe it is my birthday?

Anyway, so I went back to my new favorite pedi place that is only $23 including a hot stone massage and callus scrub.  No I will not share it's location lest they become popular and up the ante.  Although, you might have to tell me after reading this post if it's time to find a new nail place again....

I first tried this salon for my sister's bachelorette staycation in Scottsdale.  I meant to blog about it because it was super fun, but I didn't, so in a nut shell (if I'm even capable of "nut shell" recaps):

  • We stayed at a fancy hotel for "sizzlin' summer prices" and ate fancy dinner
  • I kept it fresh by bringing my newborn baby to a bachelorette party
  • We went out on the town (sans newborn) 
  • I felt extremely old and frumpy
  • We ate specially shaped cookies and drank from specially shaped straws 
  • Last important point was when I brought my newborn baby to get manis and pedis.....  

Our mini chip n' dale was still sleeping in his car seat when we got to the nail salon, so my plan was to leave him in there.  However, all the ladies were so happy to see a new baby they kept wanting to touch him, so I thought better of it and decided after my feet were already soaking to try to take him out.  My sister's nail person (what's PC for this?)  (never mind, I'm rarely PC) wanted to help:

Nail lady-  "I hold seat for you"
Me- "Ok, thanks, I can actually do it easier if you leave the seat on-"
Nail lady- "No, I hold up. You take out."
Me- "Ok, yes, I guess thanks that works." 
Sam-  Scrunches up into the adorable 2 month old yawn and baby stretch
Me-  Carefully twist my stretching baby out of his buckles
Nail Lady- "Support head good. Support head good!"
Me- Carefully pull Sam closer to me
Me- Lay Sam on my chest
Nail Lady- "Dis your first baby. Have to support head. Very fragile. Support head.  Head not strong. I show you. Let me hold."
Me- "Oh thanks, he's actually really good at holding up his head already, especially while he stretches like that."
Nail Lady- "No, no. Have to support head. First baby. I teach you. I have 2 baby."
My sister- "Oh, she knows, this is her 4th baby."
Nail Lady- "First baby."
Me- "One, two, three, fourth baby. I have 4 children."
Nail Lady- "Ooooh. Well you know head fragile."

Dead awkward silence

Nail Lady- ()#%&# !#% #@%  (Angry smack talk in foreign language to other nail ladies about dumb girl whose baby's head is going to roll off for the remainder of our stay)

The rest of the weekend we laughed plenty about this exchange and felt so bad for the poor Nail Lady who must have felt embarrassed right?

It was the best pedicure I've had in a long time and the price was right.  Also, that little thing was no big D.  I doubt they'd even remember.  Right?

But just in case when I walked in today I carefully looked around to see if the same woman was there.

She wasn't!


Another woman invited me to sit in her chair and started massaging away until:

New Nail Lady-  "You here before. You have new baby?"
Me-  "uuuuh, yes, um once before."
New Nail Lady- "I know you.  New baby. You sat there. I work on other side. I heard baby. So cute."
New Nail Lady- "Baby no cry."
Me- "No, he's such a good baby!  He's very easy going."
New Nail Lady- "You still have baby?"

Nooooo I don't have him any more.
His head rolled off?
Say whaaaaa???
That can't be what she said!

To be fair, I had a very difficult time understanding New Nail Lady and she did say "So cute."  That's nice right?  Maybe she meant did I bring him with me?   I did however notice that my massage was significantly shorter than the last time and she didn't use hot towels....

The begs the question, is it time to find a new nail salon?!  

Friday, July 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 19


Yesterday got me thinking about how Bash is at the fun talking point where he's really learning to string together his thoughts in sentences and is excited to repeat new phrases.  Which, you know, is unfortunate considering Jonah's current obsession.  Luckily the mimicking of potty talk hasn't been too bad so far. Here's a good little taste of conversations with Bash-e:


Ok, ok, one more....

It's shorter, I promise.


This time of year is very near and dear to my heart.  Not because I sweat just thinking about going outside... but because we get to go back to school shopping!  Much like going trick o' treating, I've been very fortunate to have never missed a single year since I was 5 years old.  Before you click away from creepy creeper over here let me explain.  Ok, I don't have a good explanation for the treat o' treating.... I have no excuse, but if it makes it more socially acceptable I did start finding people with young children to go with once I hit college?  Eh?   Anyway, back to school supplies because this is a legit excuse!  I was a teacher for a few years and then I quickly made my own kids so I'd have to buy supplies even when they were 6 months old to, you know, stock up for them for later.   Sienna and I went over her list last night and I'm over come with pride seeing her match my excitement!


My sister was actually just telling me how her first conscious memory of recognizing sarcasm was over school supplies.  Our family has really dry senses of humor and recognizing sarcasm is a sort of survival skill 'round these parts.... She explained clearly remembering Dad looking at the stuff Mom bought and saying "Ah, another box of crayons? You're right, we need this. We don't have any crayons in this house."  My sweet, gullible sister said,  "Yeah, I kno-oooh."


Oh that takes me to another memory of my dad and sarcasm!   We were shopping at Target or somewhere and they had Candyland marked so low they were practically giving it away.  My dad says "Oh Candyland!  Now that's a great game to buy."  I rolled my eyes along and say "Oooh yeah!" And my then adult sister says, "Oh I know! I love Candyland, but it goes too fast."  Come to think of it, maybe she never picked up on that survival skill?   Maybe it's just the subject matter.  Candyland and school supplies are serious business.


We took the whole fam to browse around Target a few weeks ago.  I'd never been there before, so I thought I'd check it out.   I'd never been there before wearing a yellow shirt and thinking of the number 14.  Ok, fine.  We really had no good reason, but fortunately the hubs settled for "Just to get out of the house and see if there are any sales?"  Secretly my only motivation was to see if they have new school supplies out.  Maybe reduced Candylands for a certain Aunt we love so much?

If you were there I'm quite sure you would've spotted, heard or smelt us a mile away.  Bash had a dirty diaper.  Which is why no one would sit in the cart next to him.  Daddy kept saying he liked this arrangement better than doing pushing himself, but wondered if Sienna could push a little faster to keep up with Mommy (who was rapidly sneaking ahead to have time to browse the shoe clearance)?

No, but Jonah never has any trouble pushing and Daddy sure got what he asked for.


And there you have it readers, I made it all week posting every single day!  Can I say I'm proud of myself?  Because I am proud of myself.  When Jen suggested a link up for posting every single day for an entire week I thought hey, maybe it'll get me to post more than once a week.  I have to say I didn't think I'd make it, but I'm glad I did because I now have a whole new level of respect for bloggers like Grace who regularly blog every single day.  I like writing, I have no trouble rambling on and on and on about plenty of things but I have this much free time.  It's a miracle I can make dinner.  How do they do it all?!    

Thanks to Jen for the 7 posts idea and the 7 QTFs ideas.  I'm so impressed with some her posts this week, especially considering she has even less time than I do to blog every day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Did you notice?

I did something a little new around here... did you notice?  Did you? Huh?  Huh?

I hope its not too fowl.  

Ok, promise, that was the first and last joke I'll quack.  Ah! Sorry, really.  Done.

I'm actually quite proud of this one!   My  sister  professional and talented graphic designer whipped it up for me in like 2 seconds.  Ok, it was probably little more than 2 seconds.  Point is, it was so fast I didn't even know how fast it was.  She actually drew the ducks too!!  She is amazing.  I thought of doing an entire post on her graphic design work, but she has her own blog and I'll just wait for her to do herself justice and link over for you all to see. 

So the ducks.  Why ducks?  It wasn't just for the joke possibilities, which are in fact endless.  I just liked the idea of the goofy little baby birds waddling behind Momma bird.  But it couldn't be just any bird. It had to be a slightly awkward definitely not graceful or smooth type of bird.  Have you ever seen a row of ducks crossing the road?  It feels like my life most days.  I love how traffic just stops for them to take forever to make their way safely.  That's us.  Everywhere we go we seem to turn heads, stop others in their path to make room as we ungracefully waddle through life in our own unique and beautiful path. 

From left to right, please meet Bash the Always Jumping on Something Duck.  Daddy (In the back Making Sure We Don't Lose Bash) Duck.  Jonah the Ready To Run Off to His Own March Duck.  Sienna the Happily Dancing Duck.  Baby Sam the Closely Following Mommy Duckling. And last, but not least, the (Only Slightly Shorter Than Daddy Duck) Mommy Duck.

What do you think?!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

St Louis, archn't you super space agey

I wasn't going to do it because it required me to re-fro-ify my recently straightened and serumed smooth hair by walking a whole 5 minutes from my hotel to the Gateway Arch.  But, it seemed to be the one thing you just had to do before leaving St. Louis, so I dealt with a strut through what felt like a heated humidifier to the 630' tall Arch. 

A tall view is a tall view, so I have to be honest I think I enjoyed my wowing panoramic view of the city more from the business dinner I went to at the 42nd floor restaurant of the one of the tallest sky scrapers in St. Louis than the view from the Arch.

But what I would say was worth my $10 was the super 70's space age ride up to the top of the Arch!  

Standing in line I hadn't really thought much about the 4' tall "doors" in front of us.  I'm not sure why either.  I guess I was expecting to ride up in an elevator or something.

It actually wasn't until the death threats against tampering with the doors, "vessel" as they called them or windows that I noticed the Alice in Wonderland size of a key hole I was going to squeeze through. 

The vessels held 5 passengers at a time who all crouched in knee to knee facing the door. The 4 strangers who I considered could have wound up being the last 4 people I ever spoke to all agreed that we probably faced the door for the claustrophobics who naively agreed to this adventure. 

As we jerked and wiggled on the 4 minute ride to the top we also began to understand why they didn't give you a view outside during the ride up.  I'm pretty sure if any of us could've seen fresh air we would catapulted our crunched up selves right through the window! 

When we made it to the top I was about to demand to see a current newspaper. But alas, one glance at the Justin Beiber cloned high school summer staffer assured me we hadn't actually traveled through time.

The top was pretty amazing.  I was on the first vessel to the top, so it wasn't too crowded.  I took my time finding the best window to take a picture out of.  

Speaking of windows, I wanted someone to tell me how on earth they kept the whole top area so clean, especially the windows!  There is NO way a standard size vacuum and mop could fit in the vessel.  Oh, those windows were streakless!  Maybe that's why the ride is so scary. You couldn't have bribed my kids with all the candy in the world to get into the vessels to ride up.  No sticky fingered kids around  = clean windows. 

Speaking of not wanting to take kids up fortunately one of my colleagues offered to babysit Sam while I ran over, because I really don't know how that would've gone over.  Excuse me, can you hand sanitize your stranger knee so I feel comfortable with my baby's knee resting on yours? 

Because someone was waiting back at the hotel with Sam, I tried to make my space age travel brief.  I made sure I caught the first return trip, which you have to wait in line for again!   They won't send a few vessels at a time.  I think there are 8 and they seemed to wait for at least half of the 8 vessels to fill up before they run.  I want to know what if you were panicking at the top and needed to get back on the ground right away?  Do they let any panic attackers just cut on through the return vessel wait?   I over heard a mother comforting her teenage daughter with an offer to do a few "ring around the rosaries" on the way down.

So I snapped this cool shadow pic and headed down to the empty vessel I somehow scored all to myself. It wasn't nearly as tense that time.  In fact, it was a little fun and I decided if I ever did want to write a sci fi novel I'd definitely pay to just ride the 70's Arch vessel transporters back and forth back and forth until I was finished.   

As I headed for the door Gateway Beiber reminded me to purchase my "group" photo.  Of which I decided to illegally take a picture of instead.  Thank my lucky stars I wasn't arrested for such treason!  How could anyone let me wear that old shirt?   Oh, right, it's taking a picture of a picture that they said was illegal.  Allllrighty then.

In the end, I was glad I did it. (Not the illegal picture taking, I don't really care about that).  As an added bonus, I even made it back to my hotel in time to straighten my frizz mob hair once again before getting to my presentation. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why I live and love naturally

This week is NFP week, which I'm extra excited to plug for because I just returned from a conference in St Louis where I presented for SypmtoPro Fertility Education, a symptom-thermal method of Natural Family Planning that I practice and also teach online!  

I was a wee nervous about my presentation, which I coped with by telling just about every warm body I encountered on my way there all about SymptoPro and NFP.   So, since I've put a lot of thought into it over the past week I thought I'd share the top 5 reasons my husband and I practice Natural Family Planning.  It's not for everyone, but here's why it has been life changing for us!

(Yes, he's grabbing what you think he's grabbing... see reason #2)

Reason #1

My fertility is a beautiful part of what makes me a woman.  By using NFP my husband and I are constantly talking about my fertility.  It's not something I "deal with" on my own.  It's never something we forget about or take for granted, because it's an active part of our every day life and our daily (yes, daily) conversations. It's never something we shove out of sight until we're ready to use it.   My fertility is part of what makes me a woman and me being a woman is part of what makes me attractive to my husband... so me without the fertility God made me with isn't attractive to him.  Just like him without his manliness that God gave him isn't attractive to me.  This could be why the divorce rate is in the single digits for couples practicing NFP.  I give ALL of me to my husband just the way I am.

Reason #2 

Sex is better when you practice NFP.  If you don't believe me you've never practiced NFP.  And if you still won't take my word for it, that's ok, but would you consider a US news study?    So if A  + B = C then this could be part of the significantly lower divorce rate thingy.... oh yes it is!

Reason #3

It is all natural.  100% organic.  No fine print.  No trading one symptom for another.  Completely in sync with the natural design of our bodies.  I hardly like taking Tylenol.  I'll suffer through most pain before I turn to medication. I will do everything in my power to avoid taking an antibiotic.  I go through the trouble of buying natural, healthy, hormone free food to feed my family.   Wouldn't it be a little silly for me to do all that while taking the pill?   It simply does not make sense for me to willingly turn to a chemical every single day to avoid a pregnancy in turn for the many grave potential side effects of hormonal contraception.  Women say they won't happen to them, but as someone who works in this industry I can promise they do happen. 

Reason #4

I am open to life and pro-life.  Being pro-life isn't just about abortion.  It isn't just about having a million kids.  Many people who are open to life don't have kids and don't particularly want to have any.  Being pro-life and open to life is about loving, cherishing and dignifying every single life even beginning with the act that has life giving potential.  Being open to life is a commitment to welcoming the fullness of a sexual act: the pleasurable and the procreative functions.  That doesn't mean every single time we have sex we hope for it to be procreative, but we accept, understand and expect that it could be.  This very mindset brings about a deep bond between man and woman unlike any other relationship!  

Reason #5

It's second nature now.  I never believed it would happen... but on more than one occasion I've caught myself charting when I was pregnant. I've crossed a line.... I'm in too deep and now I'm not sure I could stop practicing NFP even if I wanted to.  I can't help but observe fertile markers now that I understand what they are!  It's as second nature as feeling a cold come on.  If we could all learn how to do this imagine how much healthier we'd be?   Learning to practice NFP isn't second nature at first by far, but that's like anything, how many people jump on a bicycle without training wheels for the first time and just speed off?  It does take a little practice to learn, but once you do, like riding a bike, it's really hard to unlearn!

Do you practice NFP?   What are some of the reasons you do or don't?  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7 quick takes vol 18


I'm on a romantic get away with a little ray of Samshine for most of this week in St Louis, MO at the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers conference (NACFLM). 


True to the fully embraced SAHM (stay at home mom) career I've grown so comfortably into, I feel quite fancy and important being here!  At the airport I had to work real hard to stop from announcing on a loud speaker something along the lines of "yes, I'm on a business trip, as in going away to my work conference, as in a gathering of experts in their fields who are adults and even paid to share resources and opinions."  

But you're bringing your baby?  That can't be a real job. 

And you're right... It's me bringing home the bacon bits... And while I am techinically sent here by my employer to present our SymptoPro Fertility Education online NFP course, I gotta be honest, being away with just one baby doing pretty much anything is a VACATION!!!


I've never been to St Louis before and I've gotta say I haven't had to venture much beyond a 1/2 mile radius of the hotel to be impressed! This is the view from the parking lot of the hotel... 

I did take the tour to the top, but now that, that was an adventure for another post! 


With the time change and no one to beg me to prepare food at 5:30 on the dot, I sorta forgot to eat dinner the first night until close to 9:00!  So a fellow NFP-er and I (plus my 1 perfectly content baby) ventured out to find this awesome jazz club where I enhaled the most delicious sauteed shrimp grinder and Cajun French fries I've ever had in my life!  Ok, this could've been extreme hunger reporting, but the point is life was good, very good.


On other exciting news for the first time ever I master the previously mysterious art of nursing a baby in an Ergo carrier!  I did it folks! And I even walked around in public doing it!  Is there a place I haven't breast fed a child in?  I think not. 


Naturally, the minute I get away from my kids all I can do is think and talk about my kids.  It's ok, it's part of the refreshing and getting myself to the point of missing them. Magically, I usually forget all the moments I was thisclose to locking myself in a closet and all I can recall is the adorable way Jonah said he was going to miss me like superman when I said goodbye.  Or how Sienna got teary eyed every single time she talked about me leaving for an entire week before I left and how she said not to worry, she'd tell everyone how to take care of the boys for me. And how I can hear her in my head doing just that! Or how Bash ran from the other end of the house to say goodbye to me when I was sure he wouldn't notice me sneaking out and said "I Lou you too" before I could say "I love you" first. 

And of course once I'm actually gone they're happy as could be and hardly stop to say good night on the phone... But I'll just keeping telling myself  they crying for me on the inside. 


Being here has been amazing. I've been beyond blessed in many ways. Being around all these holy leaders makes me feel inspired, refreshed and humbled. At first I was worried about coming alone with a baby to conference I have to present at!!  What if he cries during the exhibit time?  How will I find someone to hold him while I present? What if I have to leave to take care of him? Is that ok to do?  Now that we're here it's been so much easier than I thought and I can't imagine not having him with me. So many arms are reaching for my sweet Samuel. He's been scooped up by adoring priests walking by, snuggled by many other parents away from their own children and loved by everyone who spies the baby in the crowd. Babies are a precious gifts to all of us! Not just the mothers and fathers. I'm so glad I can share the joy in he sweet newness while it is just barely still there!  

If you're not quite with me on this mushy vacation, daily mass going all inspired high... I'm sorry, I'm sure I'll be back to my overwhelmed self by the time I post again! 

Now I'll go see about linking up with Jen while blogging from a cell phone! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol 17


Can I be honest?  Cause I'm gonna be honest.  This week was rouuuuuugh.  It started off with such great promise with our renewed baptismal vows and deliciously chrism-ed, newly Catholic baby.  But as the chrism smell slowly wore off so did my naive expectations for an easy moderately manageable week after 5 straight days of 24/7 duel parenting.  I actually feel a little s-t-u-p-i-d (because we still only spell that word 'round here) that it's taken me until typing these 7QTF to realize that Daddy's 5 straight days off work is likely why I've struggled to regain authority and re-set boundaries all week.  Whatever the reason, my kids are quite lucky I have extra padding on my praying knees, because let me tell you, a certain 3 year old who we can refer to as Fee-fi-fo-monah is lucky to have survived with the high powered whine, tantrums and potty talking he threw my way hourly this week!  


Fortunately, like any wise sibling, Sienna seems to know when it's her opportunity shine.  Atrociously trying behavior from Fee-fi-fo-monah only requires moderately sweet behavior on her behalf for me to consider her a saint and martyr by comparison.  So by the grace of sibling rivalry  mostly God, Sienna has helped me more this week than should be allowed from someone with a mere 5 years in this world. Somedays I think she's better at persuading her brothers into doing things they don't want to do than I am.  Let me illustrate with a little parking lot melt down example:

Jonah-  "NO Mom!  I cannot walk any more.  It's too hot. The car is too far for me to walk."

Me- "For the love of 117 degrees Fahrenheit please just hurry up and get to the car a whole 15 feet away!!!"

Jonah- "NOOOOOOO!!!!  I said. I. Am. Too. Tired. Of. Walking."

Sister- "I'm too tired to walk too Jonah, let's run instead!"

Jonah- "Ok Ena!  I'm gonna win than you!"

Me- "Sienna, you wanna drive home?"  

Just kidding.  I only let her drive when I've been drinking.  Oooooh double kidding!  I don't have enough energy to drink these days.


So in exchange for Sienna rescuing her burned out mother all week I've been entertaining her requests for baptism stories over and over and over again.  Finally I asked if she wanted to see pictures and that little girl after my own heart excitedly said, "Of course I do Silly!!"  Allow me to spend the remainder of these 7QTs in my happy place for this week..... baptism stories!


Sebastian's baptism is the most recent one Sienna remembers before Sam's.  She was actually baptized in this same church in downtown Portland, Holy Rosary. 

Sienna already knows all about his godfamily, so no story telling needed for her sake, but because we love them so much I'll tell you all about them anyway.  They flew all the way up to Portland for us to be there for the ceremony.  If that wasn't enough to profess their love and dedication to their newest godson I don't know what is?!  Their girls may not look it in this picture, but I'm also not sure my own kids were as excited about Baby Bashy as these two were!  They still love him like the mini mommies they love to be to this day.  


Jonah was baptized at St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church here in Phoenix close to my birthday.  My in laws were able to fly all the way here to be there for his special day!   We were also so honored that the Z family agreed to be godparents for Jonah.  I'll never forget how giddy we felt asking them.  How should we pop the question?  Is this godparenting or marriage?  What if they say no?  What if they already have too many godchildren?  Ok, we never thought that one (totally isn't possible to have too many), but they definitely could've said no to us.

Not only did they accept, but turned around a few months later and asked us to be the godparents of the sweet little girl growing in her belly!!  We are doubly bonded to this beautiful family 'til heaven and back!

Our lovely goddaughter, Lainey Elizabeth!  


And now Sienna's turn.... 

Oh she's so excited!

Hurry Mom, hurry!  Let's see the pictures already!

(She's helping me write this if you didn't gather...) 

Oh wait, did I tell you that a few days before you were baptized we went to your godbrother, Wolfie's baptism?   Wanna see those pictures first?

One of Kevin's friends who he grew up with asked us to be godparents of their second son who was being baptized in Portland the same week as Sienna's!  He will always have a special place in our hearts as our first godson!  I didn't know them very well at the time, but through the years and rendezvous all over the US I always leave wishing they lived closer!!  


She simply can't wait any longer.

Once upon a time on a rainy day in Portland, OR, Sienna Clare was baptized by a dominican priest named Father Anthony at the same church her mommy and daddy were married in and the same church her future brother would one day be baptized in too.  Father Anthony was especially happy to baptize such a special little girl named after not just one, but two saints!  He made sure to tell us that St Catherine of Siena only had one "N," he thought we were naming you after a color!  But at least he didn't say minivan....

The morning of your baptism we woke up so excited for such an important day!  I freshly washed and ironed a brand new baptismal gown I bought just for our family.  You were the very first one to wear it.

We asked your daddy's youngest sister and oldest brotherto be your godparents.  Don't worry you really love them and were very happy to be baptized.... you just weren't too sure about being held by anyone but Mommy part.

And even when Mommy did hold you, you were a little mad that the baptism took so long.  You couldn't understand it at the time, but we'll never forget how Father Anthony gave the best baptism homily I've ever heard!  He told us all about the history of godparents and what it means to be a godparent. These are words that mommy and daddy think about everyday when we pray for our godchildren.

And from this day forth we promised to teach you everything we know about Jesus and how to grow up to be whatever He made you for!  If you ask me I think you're doing a very good job being you so far!


And juuuuust for kicks since I was so whinny before I'll throw out an extra take... I found this gem while digging through the old pics.  How's this for an awkward family photo... do I have cooties?  Ok, let's all sit for a picture, but I'll scoot as far over as possible and you just sit in that seat like the outcast you are.  Still not sure why he insisted that we sit down. I'm pretty sure it's because we used two "N's"...

Speaking of awkward... I call this one "All little humans in the middle."

Ooook, this is getting rather 7 8 LONG Takes Friday ish....  I think you're going to be late for Jen's much short, much happier, much less baptism over-loadier day! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why we love baptisms

Now that our hearts are freshly melted over holy babies, Sienna and I have been talking about why we love baptisms all day.  One of the beauties of Catholicism is the richness of tradition and ceremony that leads even very young children, younger than the age of reason like Sienna and Jonah to understand the holiness and importance of this first sacrament.  

(Sebastian Thomas on his baptism day)

As a convert from a non-denominational Christian perspective I wasn't sure how I felt about infant baptism.  When I became a Christian I was 7 years old all I had to do was raise my hand one day at Sunday School and say "I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and I believe."  Done!  I never had a baptism.  I know many Christian adults who choose to be baptized, but it was my understanding it wasn't required as a demonstration of your faith.  

Naturally, I had a lot of questions about why I even had to actually be baptized and again why infants should be.  I remember being a little afraid to be baptized.  It was like my conscience was telling me it was something very significant and not to be taken lightly.  See, even as an adult who had no understanding of the reasons behind baptism I could feel the holiness behind the ceremony the first time I witnessed one.  I remember being brought to tears over it and I hadn't even decided to become Catholic at the time.  It is truly of God and His presence is felt through it all. 

My mom and my grandma, who are both Jewish came to witness Samuel's baptism.  I wasn't surprised to hear them both carry on about how beautiful it was and how anointed it felt.  My grandma said it was so similar to the Brit Milah (Jewish circumcision ceremony) she couldn't believe she was in a Catholic church.  

Ironically, that comparison is exactly what the first priest I met used to explain the purpose and reason behind baptism to me.  He said it more eloquently I'm sure, but here's what I have in my notes (yes, of course I took notes!  I had a LOT of questions for those "Catholics"!):  

In Colossians 2:11-12 Paul says that baptism has replaced circumcision.  He refers to baptism as "the circumcision of Christ" and "the circumcision made without hands."  Circumcision in adults was fairly rare as you can imagine under the Old Law as there weren't many converts to Judaism.  Most circumcision was preformed on infants near or at birth.  By comparing circumcision to baptism Paul is telling us we are to include infants in baptism.  

The priest also explained the parallel between a man wanting to become a Jew and now someone wanting to become a Christian.  There was no distinction between Catholic and Christian in the bible as I pray there won't have to be some day again as well!  But thats another story for another day!  Anyway, he said in the Old Testament for a man to become a Jew he had to believe in the God of Israel and be circumcised. In the New Testament, if a man wants to become a Christian he must believe in God and Jesus and be baptized.   

In this same parallel I also began to understand why we don't wait to baptize.  Babies born into Jewish families in the Old Testament could be circumcised in anticipation of growing and learning the Jewish faith as they were to be raise.  So in the New Testament isn't it appropriate for the new circumcision, baptism, to be done in infancy in anticipation of the Christian faith that they will be raise in as well? 

Sienna, of course, doesn't fully understand any of this yet, so I thought I'd ask her why she thinks babies get baptized.  She didn't skip a beat before offering her simple summary:

 "So we can promise to teach them to love God." 

Faith and understanding like a child!   May we all have it.  Amen!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What name have you given your child?

Samuel Marcus 

What do you ask of God's Church for Samuel Marcus? 


You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him up to keep God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? 

We do  

My dear brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look lovingly on this child who is to be baptized, on his parents and godparents, and on all the baptized.

Father, God of Mercy, through these waters of baptism you have filled us with new life as your very own children. 

Blessed be God 

You have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. Receive this baptismal garment and bring it unstained to the judgement seat of our Lord Jesus Christ so that you may have everlasting life. 

Father ended with a special prayer and blessing for me, Samuel's mother. It was unexpected and brought me to tears.  Maybe it's only something they do when you get to your 4th baby, because they figure with that many I must need extra prayers!  Just look at my husband's face: if that look doesn't say "she needs this" I'll be a monkey's mother.

Sam was welcomed to the Faith by his doting godbrothers. He already adores those two! 

This priest has a very special place in my heart and this picture shows one of the many reasons why.  Sienna worked all morning making a beautiful picture and thank you letter for him.  He could've taken it and thanked her, but instead he stopped everything, kneeled down and took his time asking her all about every last detail.  This meant the world to her!  As I tucked her into bed she said, "Mommy, I think Fr. Kline thinks I'm a special little girl too."    

"Relax your face.... just keep smiling... don't look too tall and above all don't show how much effort it's taking to keep Bash from leaping for the holy water..."  I say to myself in almost every picture these days.  

The Fathers! 

To us, when we ask someone to be godparents we ask them to become family.   

"The bond that links your true family is not [just] one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." -Richard Bach 

I love baptisms.  The ceremony, the smells, the reverence, the excitement and the peace.  They immediately bring me back to my very own baptism and the pure joy I felt on that day.  Thank you Lord for this precious gift of salvation!  Thank you for all the people who witnessed this day for Samuel.  And thank you for the honor of being a mother to four of your children!

"And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground."  1 Samuel 3:19

Friday, July 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday vol 16


The highlight of this week and obvious winner of the #1 QT spot is no other than reigning in our freedom Phoenix style. (Technically Tempe... but let's be honest, if you're from anywhere near Phoenix you say Phoenix unless of course it's within a mile of somewhere in Scottsdale.  I'm pretty sure I've never heard anyone from Scottsdale round up where they're from by any other name).  


Yup, that'd be us with our 4 small children awake and out of the home late enough to watch fire works.  Which may have led to the biggest parenting fail of the entire week.  I'm not sure which part exactly was the worst...  

  • The nearly hour drive in traffic it took for us to get there, find a pathetically overpriced parking spot and walk down to see the show.... 
  • Or the fact that we picked the prickliest, dustiest, hottest spot under a bridge that we ever did see as our final watching destination.... 
  • Or maybe it was realizing that the kids enjoyed approximately zero parts of the ordeal and asked to go home from the moment we got out of the car in the hot, crowded, sticky, expensive parking lot to the time we agreed to call it quits and head home.  

Oh sure, we'll do this again next year.  (Saaaaarcasm!)


Wait, #1 and #2 don't match?!   Don't worry my children's misery wasn't the highlight of my week.  Actually, the entire day of the 4th was a really fun family day.  I hesitate to reveal our secret, buuuuut since so many people read this I think it'll be safe.  The Children's Museum on a big holiday was a lovely ghost town just for our playing pleasure!  

We destroyed their art room (not ours yay!) making fire work pictures. 

Bash showed me all the better noise making puzzles he prefers to ours by dropping subtle hints such as   "I need dis" or  "Take hooom witch yoo" and "hab dis peaz?"

Sienna also tried to convince me we needed to have a motor cycle for Daddy.  Does he pay her to say those things? 

Jonah enjoyed having his "pick" on all the rides. 


We topped that fun morning off with a bbq and pool party at home with just our own family.  The kids couldn't believe it was just our own family for the "party."  If a table of 6 is automatic gratuity at a restaurant, I'm pretty sure every dinner with chips and dessert is considered a "party" from here on out at our house others invited or not.    


Speaking of good parenting and spending quality time with just your family... I discovered Joy Prouty this week after embarrassingly stalking one of my friends from Portland's instagram. I'm not surprised those two are friends.  I could've matched them up after 10 minutes with either one!  They're both so creative, free spirited and open people.  Clearly I know Joy Prouty after the 45 minutes (yikes, that's awkward to admit) I spent stalking her website. You should read up on Joy for yourself, but basically they are a family of 6 who all of a sudden decided to sell most of their possessions including their HOUSE, pile into a 1950s trailer and take to the road for at least 6 months.  

(image from Wild Flowers Photography

She said she realized there were too many moments of telling the kids they were busy working, to wait a little longer for their attention, no they can't play with them right now, please go somewhere else and entertain themselves.  Etc.  She decided to rid themselves of all those distractions and noise and just be together.  

I like being together with my family.  But all 6 of them ALWAYS together in one 150 sq foot trailer unless they are driving together in a 50 sq foot vehicle.  No baby sitters.  No time away.  No separate beds.  Do they even have showers?   This is my nightmare.  But one man's junk is another man's treasure.   

Ok, fine. I say nightmare only because I know I'd never be bold enough to do this and it is obviously amazing.  She writes how close her children are getting with each other. How much they've learned what is important in life.  How much they've relied on God and how they see His presence everywhere.   I'll stop.  You just have to read it!   Would you ever do this?  Could you?  


And while I'm comparing my life with others I'll share a few other proud parenting moments I've had this week:

Such as how much my children love being together and the time I ran for my camera to capture such a sweet moment between two brothers happily entertaining each other. 

As I began oooohingly snapping away I slowly realized what was actually happening should've been categorized as big brother torturing little brother who eagerly endures the pain in exchange for signs of acceptance.   He wasn't sharing a toy with him. He was clipping the toy to his eyelid.  When I finally put my darn camera down I realized it was actually, literally, clipped onto his eyelid!  Please don't tell me what it says about their mother who is so busy taking a picture she doesn't even notice what the picture is really of.  It wasn't even going to be a good picture. Lousy lighting and all out of focus.  


By the grace of elasticity he survived to pose for another day!  Of which evidence I feel compelled to share least you think I'm an entirely oblivious novice of novices mommy blogger photographer.

He was giving me plenty of smiles to work with and even a giggle or two to cheer me on.

And only got a little mad after I let Jonah give him a kiss....

Do you think it's post traumatic stress from the eyelid thingy??

Get ready Jen, I'm heading over to your place!