Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting, I’ve come to learn, is not my forte. It’s not that I’m an impatient person, per se, but I just don’t wait very well. I fuss and muss, check the clock and the calendar, attempting in any way I can to manipulate time to speed up. It is fitting, therefore, that I am compelled to endure these last few weeks of my pregnancy during the Advent Season, a time when all are called to wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Lord.

Initially, I felt a little guilty that our child was going to be born right after Christmas. From what I’ve heard, most Christmas time birthdays tend to get neglected or brushed aside. Either birthday presents are combined with Christmas presents or family and friends are just too tired from celebrating Christmas to have much energy to rejoice in yet another birthday.

But now as the time of my child’s birth is quickly approaching, I realize what a gift it is, for both my child and me, to be sharing the journey of birth with Our Lady and her most beloved Son. The Christmas season seems all the more real as I imagine Mary and I enduring these last few weeks of our pregnancies together. How blessed am I that I am allowed to share all the little trials of pregnancy right along with her? Together we experience the struggle to get comfortable, the sore feet and back, the anxieties of preparing the home for an infant and making sure the baby will have everything he needs. (Granted, I don’t have to worry about traveling hundreds of miles on a donkey in the winter cold, or being forced to give birth in an unheated manger with oxen and lambs as birthing attendants.)

And if my child should be born on or near Christmas Day, what a blessing for my child, to share a birthday with God! It seems that there are numerous women in the blogsphere expecting Christmas time babies and I can’t help but wonder if God planned it that way. If He wishes to share his birthday with as many little children as He can? What a lovely image.

So during this 2009 Advent Season, I bind myself ever closer to Our Lady as I wait, as she waits, as the whole world waits and I realize that perhaps this year I will learn to wait gracefully.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

I did it! I made a Thanksgiving turkey! It was quite good, if I do say so myself, thank you very much. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, squash (which didn't turn out so well), homemade cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. It was delicious. I feel so domestic. Look out cooking world!

Happy Birthday, Libby!

Happy 21st Birthday, Lib, Libber, Liberty, Bones, Libby! I love you!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On this day there is so much for which to be grateful and to give thanks to God! Personally, I am so thankful for my faith, my Church, my husband, my child, my parents and siblings, my grandparents and extended family, my friends, my health, my freedoms, the list goes on and on...

Let us give thanks to God, for it is right to give Him thanks and praise.

Baby Uggs

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is a comparison shot of the baby uggs we were given at the baby shower and a pair of my own slippers, but this picture doesn't quite do the baby uggs justice. In real life the uggs are so much more tiny and so much cuter too. But you get the idea.


The mice are back. Or rather, they never left. Last week we caught the baby (mouse) in the living room. (Don't worry Mom, we haven't seen any mice in the guest bedroom:)) It came crawling out of a little hole near the heater. I felt a little bad about it, killing the baby mouse that is, but Matthew reminded me, “do you know how quickly that baby would have grown into a full grown mouse?” Good point. But since then we’ve seen one maybe two more mice in the kitchen. Yuck. A couple of weeks ago, the exterminator came and put bait down and the maintenance men supposedly plugged up the holes that the mice were coming out of, but apparently they didn’t do such a hot job because the mice have been finding a way to get through. So we took matters into our own hands. Matthew bought about 20 heavy duty mouse traps. They’re called Tomcat mouse traps and there’s a really mean looking picture of a cat on the box, so I’m hoping these traps will work. We set one in the kitchen, so hopefully that will do the trick. The maintenance men and exterminator came back this morning and reboarded up the holes and the exterminator said the bait he left last time was eaten, so that’s a good sign. I really can’t have mice in my house with a newborn baby, I just don’t want to have to deal with it. So hopefully this is the last we see of the mice. Okay, that was a really long post on our mice problem, but it’s been such a pain for us these last few weeks.

These mice are messin' with the wrong family.

Surprise Baby Shower

Monday, November 23, 2009
Last Sunday my mother in law threw me a surprise baby shower. Usually I tend to anticipate surprises or find a way to figure out the surprise before it actually happens, but not this time. I love surprises, but I also love knowing when and where they’re going to happen, I know, I’m a walking contradiction. I was the kid who would search high and low every year until I found my Christmas presents. Poor Santa, he never had a chance with me. But this time, I was absolutely and completely surprised.

My husband (who was in on the whole thing) told me we were stopping by his mother’s to pick up his niece, whom we were going to take into Boston for the day. Thank goodness I actually took a shower and put on makeup because even though my hair looks a bit horrendous in the baby shower video, it could have been a lot worse, let me tell you. I was in shock when we walked in the door, and a bit disoriented for a good 20 minutes. At first I didn’t want to look like I just assumed that “oh yes, this surprise baby shower is for me” (because what if it wasn’t) so I tried to play a bit aloof for a while. Fortunately, my MIL promptly sat me down in a chair and started handing me presents. It was so fun opening all the presents. Baby showers are so much better than bridal showers. There’s nothing cute or exciting about a set of plates, but little baby booties and itty bitty clothes, now that’s something women can ooh and ahh about. And we did just that, for about 45 minutes. I was given so many nice gifts and was truly touched by everyone’s generosity.

Matthew’s family has always been so kind to me, despite the fact that I’m a lot younger than most of them. At most family functions, I tend to hang out with his 18 year old niece because one, she’s probably the female relative closest in age to me and two, she reminds me of my sisters. Speaking of which, I do wish my mom and grandmothers and sisters could have been there. Maybe we’ll have a California baby shower for the next baby.

Anyways, a few of my favorite gifts were our stroller. Oh my gosh, I love this stroller. I want to take it for a walk along the beach near our house just to practice using it, I love it that much. But that may look a little weird, a pregnant lady pushing an empty stroller. Whatever. We were also given a beautiful glider that I insisted everyone try out because it’s that comfortable. Plus a set of baby uggs, that no camera can capture how cute they are, and a million and one other super nice gifts. I feel like we’re almost ready for baby, almost.

Here's a pic of our beloved stroller:

Happy Birthday, Jacqui!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Jacqui! She's 23 today!

Jacqui, I'm not sure if you still read this blog, but I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you in February! And I'd send you all this ice cream on your birthday, if I could:)

Zelie Martin

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I finally jumped on the bandwagon and entered myself in the drawing for a patron saint for 2010. I couldn't resist and wanted in on the action. The woman who writes this blog, hosts a drawing every year and prayerfully selects a patron saint for each person. It seems that each saint chosen relates in some way to the person to whom he or she is assigned. My saint for 2010 is (drumroll please)…Zelie Martin! The mother of St. Therese! Although, I think to be entirely accurate, Zelie is not yet a saint, but rather a Blessed. She and her husband, Louis, are both on the path to sainthood and, from what I’ve read so far, would be the only married (to each other) couple ever canonized. They are both a lovely and heroic testament to marriage and parenthood.

Here are some other interesting notes I read about Zelie.
ZĂ©lie was a tremendously energetic woman who put everything she had into whatever she was doing. She was running a business, and at the same time raising a large family. Her mother-in-law died, so she brought her father-in-law into her home and took care of him. Though busy, she was faithful to prayer, daily Mass, and prayers with the children. Her letters reveal her concern for the realities of life and of the world in which she lived. At the same time, that world is permeated with a spirit of faith.

I can't wait to learn more about her. Blessed Zelie, pray for us!

War & Peace

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My new goal to accomplish before the baby is born is to read War and Peace. I attempted to read it several years ago and got about halfway through before I gave up. I got confused with all the different characters' nicknames. Every character has like 5 pet names. But I love Tolstoy and am determined to give it another go. I find Russian history and culture so intriguing, especially during the latter half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century (pre Russian Revolution). I think Russian culture during that era was just so beautiful and communism went and ruined it, but hey, that's an entirely separate post.

Off to read...

Around the House

Our bedroom, which we think is HUGE, especially compared to our tiny bedroom in NYC. Oh, and I tried to include a shot of our new stroller, which we(I) love!

Our beautiful kitchen. Notice the white Christmas lights I've put up already?

Proof that we really are bootleggers and storing the beer in the baby's closet no less. I'm sure our child will be bringing along this pic to his or her therapist in due time, "my parents stored beer in my closet!"


Friday, November 13, 2009
Reason number 19,348 I love my husband:

Because he throws out the dead mouse in the mouse trap before I wake up so I don't have to see it.

Nice View

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our new apartment complex is about a block away from this view. I took this picture this morning, isn't it beautiful? There's a walkway that runs along the beach, which we frequent quite often. We look for any excuse to go for a walk along the beach, wouldn't you?

God Bless Our Troops

Thank you to our Veterans! God Bless our troops, God Bless America!

31 1/2 Weeks

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Okay fam, here's a shot of my belly at 31 and a half weeks. I had another midwife appointment today and the baby is still head down (yay) AND I only gained 2 pounds since my last appointment, which is a huge accomplishment for me. All that swimming is starting to pay off.

Stupak-Pitts Amendment

Saturday, November 7, 2009
I just received an email this morning from the Susan B. Anthony List regarding the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that is up for a vote in the House today. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment is the only amendment that would explicitly exclude funding for abortion under PelosiCare. I encourage all of you to contact your Representative (via phone) and urge them to vote "Yes" on this amendment. I just called my rep and a real live person picked up and thanked me for calling. Every little bit helps.

"Tell your Representative to vote YES on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.

This vote is going to be VERY close, so please call right now. Representatives will be keeping track today of how many calls they receive from back home and if they are undecided on how to vote, how many folks call them will make a difference.

Here are your talking points:

•The Pitts-Stupak Amendment is the only amendment that provides clear language that prohibits federal funding of elective abortions and plans that cover elective abortions.
•Vote YES on the Pitts-Stupak Amendment."

It's that easy and just may influence how your Representative votes.

"Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them."- Susan B. Anthony, 1889

Random But True

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Random but true happenings in the R household:

~We have a mouse in our kitchen. I'm not too happy about it, but the maintenance men came and boarded up the hole, so I'm hoping that's the last we see of the measly rodent. (Hmm, come to think of it, is a mouse a rodent?)

~I put the flannel sheets on our beds. We splurged and bought the Martha Stewart flannel sheets from Macy's and they are totally worth it. We love our flannel sheets!

~We're brewing beer in the baby's room. Ha, that sounds a little odd. We brewed some beer last Saturday and now it's fermenting for the next few days...in the baby's room. On Friday we're supposed to bottle the beer and put some carbonation drops into each bottle and let it sit for another 2 weeks before it's ready to drink. We can't wait! Or, I guess Matthew can't wait since I probably won't be drinking too much of our homemade brew.:)

~Made some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins yesterday. Matthew gave the muffins an A+.

~We have a ton of squirrels in our new apartment complex. They're busy little creatures, constantly scavenging for acorns and burying them. They're cute, but it is a little disconcerting how many of them there are. It's kinda like a Hitchcock movie outside, The Squirrels.

~Got a new library card for our local library. Libraries are one of my favorite things. And our local library is amazing, it has a cafe for goodness sakes. I checked out the 3rd season of Lost and have been busy watching and trying to piece together everything from the show. Good times.

~Dr. Peter Kreeft (a Catholic apologist, love him) is speaking at a local Boston chapel this Saturday and we're planning on going. Can't wait!

That's about it. Happy Wednesday!

All Saints Day

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On this day let us revive in ourselves an attraction toward Heaven that calls us to carry on in our earthly pilgrimage. Let us lift in our hearts the desire to always unite ourselves to the family of the saints, of which we already have the grace to be a part.
~Pope Benedict XVI

I remember one particular confession where I admitted that I was afraid to become too holy (not that it's really a problem) because I feared becoming "too nerdy" or "uncool" somehow. I was afraid that working to become a saint would mean sacrificing my winning personality and becoming dull and boring. I'll never forget the priests response to my inane comment. He asked if I thought Mother Teresa was "uncool"? "Of course not," I replied. He said it was the sinners who were really all the same, it is the Saints who are truly unique. The Saints are remembered throughout all of history, the sinners are forgotten. So which really is cooler, to be remembered or forgotten?

Jesus said he came so that we may "have life and have it more abundantly"(John 10:10). The Saints are a wonderful representation of his abundant life. Their individuality and personality is magnified by their love of God, not diminished by it. Today on this day, and all days, we should look to the Saints and pray to be inspired by their devotion and faith.

All ye holy men and women, pray for us.
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