Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Distracted parenting

One of the best posts I've read in a while - I meant to link to this last week. It really hit home... technology, despite making our lives "easier", can be such a distraction to being present for our children!

Please see Sarah's post on Clover Lane on Distracted Parenting if you haven't already.

Pinterest... or email... or blogs... 

How to make: Ned the iPhone kleenex box monster

I think I need to make one of these big enough for my phone and laptop. Anyone need to join me in this craft?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

6 :)

Happy 6 years to my best friend!! :) I definitely won the jackpot. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

You're Invited! DC/VA/MD Blogger Meet-up!

If you are in the DC/VA/MD area, please join us to welcome Patiently Waiting and her family to the area! [Or if you are in another location and want to drive in, you are welcome too! :)]

Details so far:

Saturday, July 13th
Time: 12:00 PM -- ??

Location: We're going to meet at a park (we'll figure out a central location once we see who is coming). Please bring your own picnic lunch, and if you like, a dish to share! (I know many of you--me included--have food intolerances or allergies, so if it is easier to just to bring your own food, that is fine!) Spouses and kids are welcome! Those of you with kids, feel free to bring activities or games for them to enjoy.

Please let me know here or on FB if you are interested in joining us!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Take Him Out"... of Mass

Well, I finally got it. Emphatically from a grumpy old man at Mass this morning. C was a bit more rambunctious today. He wanted to be held and walked... so we went outside to the back a few more times than usual. Here are my thoughts on this - if he is super loud, I will take him out. If he's making little baby noises here and there, I won't. I think it's so important for kids to experience Mass in the Church. Personally, I think it's very difficult to appreciate the beauty of the liturgy - the spiritual as well as physical elements - from a vestibule or a cry room. My church doesn't have a cry room - it has a gathering space with a large glass window in it so you can see inside the church from outside. There are speakers are scattered throughout but it isn't always that easy to hear. (Side note - cry rooms with all kinds of toys drive me nuts. I don't think going to Mass should be about a fun play room!)

Anyway, this morning, at the conclusion of Mass, we sang the Salve Regina as we always do during the month of May. Before the song was over, mr. grumpy was next to me telling me that I should take "the child" outside during Mass and keep him behind the glass.

I tried explaining that of course, if C is really loud, I will take him out. (He couldn't hear me. Interesting that he couldn't hear me clearly speaking right next to him but he can hear C talking when he's more than halfway across the church?? The Salve Regina wasn't that loud!) I told him I would speak to him outside. We went outside and again I explained that of course, I would take C out if he's really loud but that Jesus told us to bring the children to him and that it's important for him to be in Mass to learn how to behave, and that I don't take him out if he's just talking here and there. He said something to the effect of me not caring at all that it was distracting to everyone else. He also mentioned one of our former pastors and told me that he had the wall of glass built so that kids could stay out. (This former pastor came back to baptize C, and is a good friend. The gathering space was built so that people would have conversations outside the Church, one of his pet peeves! He's the oldest of 7 boys, uncle to countless nieces and nephews and certainly knows that kids are noisy. He was always extremely welcoming to kids in Mass when he was our pastor!!!!!) We concluded our discussion with me telling him to talk to the priests if it was such a concern to him. He said "I'm talking to you." I again told him to talk to the priests. He said again, "I'm talking to you." I said, well, let's talk to the priest now because he's coming down the aisle - so he turned and walked away. I literally was chasing him down and the priest at the Mass followed me out to see what was wrong. Mr. grumpy completely ignored me, and the priest, who, when he saw that I was upset, was very nice and told me that C was more than welcome to be at Mass and to keep bringing him.

Fortunately, I know from the many parishioners who have spoken to me- and who greet C most mornings, that he is not disturbing them. And one in particular comments that he never cries - he just sings!

Argh. It was so upsetting!!!!

I came home and re-read this comforting post - and the comments too. And I held C tightly and told him Jesus loves him and that he is always welcome at Mass. He may be too little to understand now, but what about when we adopt again and he's older, if someone says it about his brother or sister?

Fortunately, in recent months, I've also been at several churches and have heard priests announcing that kids are welcome in Mass, even when they are noisy. One mentioned how much he loved the communion hymn... which consisted only of the cries and babblings of babies and kids that day!

And the past 2 weekends when we were in Pittsburgh, my former pastor, Fr. T, has a tradition of blessing the children after Communion. The excitement of the children when they come up is tangible. They are SO HAPPY to be at Mass!!!!! I remembered Fr. T saying many many times to everyone- keep bringing the kids and keep having babies.

Here is my favorite part of the above post -
"I think that’s part of what it means to be pro-life. To see children always as gifts of grace, not inconveniences. As always welcome as part of God’s family, not as distractions to be avoided. To encourage and love them and show them that they are wanted. That we want them there because Jesus wants them there."
Here are my thoughts and please keep in mind that I can be a bit sarcastic....

1) Sit tomorrow right behind the man. Hold C's bottle just a little bit longer than normal away from him so he howls for it. OK. So I won't do that. But a tiny little itty bitty part of me wants to... clearly, I have work to do on me, too. :)

2) Apologize to the man for C distracting him from his prayers and ask him to pray that all birthmothers, like C's, choose life for their children when faced with an unplanned pregnancy every time he hears C talk or cry.

3) Stop taking C to daily Mass. Not an option, but clearly what he'd prefer! Ugh.

4) Memorize Matthew 19:14 (Let the children come to me and do not hinder them... the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these) and just repeat it when approached by other grumpies!

5) Do nothing. (My mom's advice.) She said if he says anything again, to tell him I'm sorry but that I will pray for him. Don't moms always know best?

What would you do if (have you done when) this happened to you?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Road Trips: Birthdays and Baptisms & other fun stuff

The past 2 weeks have been quite the whirlwind! We went to Pittsburgh last weekend to visit my family - we celebrated C's birthday and niece's baptism, then drove up immediately after her baptism, to Cleveland for X's baptism 3 hours later! We drove home later that night and arrived home shortly after 11.... DH drove the whole trip. I love him. :) 

C was quite the trooper! When we were driving back home finally (a 6 hour trip), he got a little fussy after he woke up from his nap, but reading and toys kept him occupied. 

Photos from that weekend:

Birthday party:
Bring that a little closer, Mom!

Hates cake, but loves ice cream. A man after my own heart. :)

M's Baptism!! Welcome, sweet new Catholic!!
Proud Godmother :) 
My sisters - the BEST aunties EVER!

X's baptism... welcome new Catholic!!
DH, C & me with his brother, SIL & X
This past weekend, DH was on retreat, and C and I drove back up to Pittsburgh for a longer visit with my family. My sis, R, had a choir concert as well. She's singing in a newly formed group under the direction of my HS choir teacher - who is pretty much the best teacher I ever had in school. He's retiring this year - but going to teach for a year at a local college. It was SO great to see him. And the choir was great! A few close friends of mine - 2 girls who sang for my wedding (who I met taking piano lessons as a kid) are also in the group and it was fun to see them as well! And, my first piano teacher was also in attendance. What a flashback to all those piano recitals in middle school and high school. :) C and I also spent some time with my Grandma, who told us last week that she would like to be called "Nana" by her great-grandchildren. I took a bunch of photos of the 2 of them - so sweet!!

C and Nana

I LOVE this one!!!
 Playing with all kinds of old toys! Recognize the telephone?! I'm not sure C would know what it was... he's used to trying to play with my iphone, haha. :)
I'll chew on this a while.
My godmother came over to visit for a bit too. She and C had fun with blocks:
A tower of blocks... hmm... 
I don't think so!
Hee, hee!!! I win!!
Since the Pens were playing that night, I changed him into appropriate attire (they lost, boo, but won yesterday!)
Go Pens!!!
 Saturday, DH's parents came down to visit a bit more since our trip the previous weekend was so short. We went out to lunch and took him to a local park to try out the swings. He was definitely nervous at first, but eventually smiled a bit... and he was definitely intrigued by all the people around. It was a gorgeous day... perfect for the park!
This is fun... but I'm still hanging on for dear life!
Happy Monday, friends!

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