Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Doings

We have had a very busy past few days.  Very busy!  Here's the quick rundown:

Thursday I dropped the boys off at their daycare and then hit the road to drive north to Indianapolis.  Arrived just in time to have lunch with three other librarians and then get to our 1pm committee meeting.

The rest of Thursday and Friday was conference stuff for me.  I love getting to spend a few days with other music librarians and be able to talk to people who understand!

Hubby got to pick up the boys Thursday evening and take care of all their needs Thursday evening and Friday morning.  One of his sisters came to stay the night on Friday night, so he had some extra help then, which I know he appreciated.

Saturday morning, Hubby got the boys in the car and he and his sister left at 4:30am to head north to Indiana.  We all met about an hour and a half north of Indianapolis for his grandmother's funeral.  I'm so proud of my husband for all the work I know it took to travel four and a half hours with two babies.  Actually, it was longer than four and half hours, that's what it would be without stops.  They had to stop obviously, but they still did very well.

Following the funeral, there was a luncheon and then we headed back to his grandmother's house to  change the babies one last time before hitting the road again.  Sister stayed to come back with her parents on Sunday, so it was just Hubby and I in separate cars traveling back.  We stayed together the whole time with the exception of about a half hour or so when we got separated at the bridge over the Ohio River which included changing highways as well. 

By the way, Cracker Barrel has the coolest chairs for infant seat carriers.  Plus they have a lot more space in their baby changing areas than most places do.  Regular stops at this establishment are definitely in our future.

While at the luncheon after the funeral we got a phone call from the realtor's office.  Someone wanted to see the house that afternoon!!  You can imagine that with everything else, the house was not in shape for viewing.  We asked that the prospective buyers choose another day.  I hate doing that, I always fear we'll lose a potential buyer.

Then Sunday at about 2:45pm we got the call again.  They wanted to come see the house at 4:15.  We scrambled and managed to get the house in order and cleaned in an hour!  One hour!!  We had to listen to the boys scream the whole time, but we got it done, got everything we needed for the boys into the car, and we left to go hang out at the mall.  Phew!!  That was an incredible feat.

Coming up, there's Halloween on Monday (we live on a very popular street) and then All Saints Day on Tuesday.  We haven't figured out which Mass we will go to on Tuesday.

I'm looking forward to Wednesday.  ::smile::

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 30


Last week in my Quick Takes post I bragged that Peter had rolled over for the first time.  But then he didn't do it again for several days.  But by Monday or Tuesday he started doing it again.  I now find him on his tummy almost every morning when I go to get him up.  He's also rolled over while at daycare and a couple times while on the floor in our family room.  I think I've only seen him actually roll over once, generally I'm not in the room or happen to look away just when he goes over.  Ethan isn't trying yet, but he is starting to get on his side, so he's probably not far behind.


I had to share a picture of my boys.  They are 20 weeks old now.  Aren't they cute in their matching polo shirts!!

Peter on left, Ethan right


Okay, one picture isn't enough!  I thought they looked so cute in these thermal long-johns I had to take a picture.

Peter on left, Ethan right


We had our first blow-out in the bath tub this week.  Ugh, what a mess!!  It's one thing to have them pee in the tub, but ... ewwww.  Can I realistically hope that this won't happen again??  Yeah, I know ... probably not.


A miracle has happened!!  Seriously!  The job posting for the staff position in my unit has been posted as of today.  Every time this position has been open I have to wait several months just to get the approval for it to be filled and then there is usually another couple weeks before it gets posted.  This time??  It's being posted a whole 14 DAYS since my former staff member left.  You see why I say this is a miracle!

Know someone who has some library experience (and has some kind of music background) who might be interested in a job??  It's only open for a week.  Click on that link to see more.  Position comes with an awesome supervisor!!


I would like to ask here for your prayers.  Hubby's grandmother passed away overnight sometime between Wednesday and Thursday this week.  She was 95.  Your prayers for the repose of her soul would be much appreciated as well as for my husband's family as they deal with the loss of their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  She is survived by two children, six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren with another on the way.  She was preceeded in death by her husband, a daughter who died in infancy, and 7 or 8 more great-grandchildren.  Thank you for your prayers.


I'll be traveling next week for a conference which also happens to be not too far from where my husband's grandmother lived and where the memorial mass/service will be held.  I'm not sure when services will be held, but it'll probably be during the same time that my conference takes place.  So I'll be missing a day of the conference and my husband will probably drive up to meet me.  Not sure what we'll do with the boys.  We could take them with us ... well, Hubby would be the one traveling with them, but we're not yet prepared for a long trip with them.  We were hoping to have a mini-van before Christmas which we thought would be our first long trip with the boys.  Regardless, we're just waiting to hear what the plans are before we try and figure out what we're going to do. 

Most likely I will not be doing a 7 Quick Takes next week.  Actually, it's not "most likely," I really should say that it won't happen.  Thanks again for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spiritual Productivity

We had an incredibly busy weekend!  On Sunday night I was exhausted and yet I couldn't remember what we had done or whether anything had been accomplished.  I was so tired I couldn't think straight.  Yet, as I layed in bed trying to shut my brain off so I could finally sleep, I was able to start reflecting on what the weekend had consisted of.  It was fairly productive afterall, though maybe not in the way we normally think of productivity.

Or maybe just not in the way I think of being productive.

I like to physically see something accomplished.  An empty hamper because the laundry has been washed, dried, folded, and put away.  An email inbox with very few unread messages.  A full recylcing bin because we've read the paper, magazines, and other publications we get.  A clean kitchen counter because the dishes are all washed and put away.  I could go on ... but you get the picture.

I like to see something.  Check it off the to-do list and see the empty/clean/whatever space around me.

This weekend, although I did do a little laundry and a few other things, most of the weekend's productivity was not visible in any material sense.

Saturday we went to a public rosary event.  Our bishop was leading the praying of the rosary that afternoon on a busy street (one of the busiest in town) near the only abortion clinic here.  We stood on a strip of median between the busy street and the access road, about twenty people or so.  Not a large crowd, but we represented all ages: small children (including our two 4 month olds), some older people, and all ages in between. 

It was wonderful to stand with so many like-minded people to pray.  A couple of men were also holding a big sign that faced the road.  Later I saw a picture of Our Lady of Fatima on it, but I never did get a chance to read what it said.  There were also several passers-by who honked their horns in support (I presume it was in support, they didn;t sound like angry honks).  The babies were both really good as well.  Peter was alert and staring at me the whole time.  Ethan got fussy at one point and I had to pick him up, but he was great after that.

Following the rosary we ran a couple errands.  It's funny walking through stores pushing a double carriage with two infant carriers attached.  People are always stopping to look, pointing the babies out to their children, or doing a double-take when they realize there is not just one baby, but two in the stroller. Some people even stop us to talk and ask questions.  It's something I'm slowly getting used to, but I'm not sure I'll ever be 100% comfortable with it.

Saturday evening I pulled out four candles for the Wave of Light for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  All four candles came from my church, two from the All Souls Day Mass the years that we lost Zachary and Brigit.  I don't remember how I acquired the other two.  They make the perfect candles for this event.  I really should have taken a picture of them.  Maybe next year.

Sunday was Mass, of course.  But later in the day I took both boys with me and went to the cemetery.  It had been a long, long time since I had been there.  I made sure to bring the grass clippers with me and it was a good thing too.  I couldn't even see Zachary's stone and Brigit's was barely visible.  The boys watched me as I cut away the grass and cleared the dampened, flattened grass clippings from the stones.  It had been a LONG time since I had visited.  I need to go more often.  The cemetery had also added a sign to the baby section, so now it is clear that the section is called "Gabriel's Tears."  I also walked around to visit the other babies.  I cleared some leaves off one of the stones and stood the two little plastic statues back up that were left there.  It is always so sad to see new stones; there were two new stones since the last time I visited.  Before leaving I said some prayers over Zachary and Brigit's graves while Ethan looked on (Peter was asleep by then).

Even though I did get some "productive" things done over the weekend, most of my productivity had more to do with more spiritual things.  A rosary for an end to abortion and the conversion of hearts through Our Lady of Fatima, lighting candles in memory of my children and the children other friends and family have lost, time spent caring for the gravesites of two of my children, and the care and feeding of the two children I have the priviledge of caring for in this life. 

Spiritual productivity may not have the same kind of satisfaction you can get from seeing things checked off a to-do list or seeing a clean space that once was messy, but it is so much better. 

And apparently even more exhausting!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  For those of us who have lost children during pregnancy or as infants, we never forget.  This day is set aside for all of us to remember those babies.  So I hope you'll take the time time to participate in the Wave of Light today for all those babies lost too soon. 

The Wave of Light happens today at 7:00pm in all timezones.  Light a candle (or two or three) for one hour in remembrance of all the babies who have been lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.  I encourage you, too, if you know someone who has lost a baby, to send them a quick note to just let them know that you are thinking of them and their children waiting for them in Heaven.

Also, today, the Catholic Sistas are sharing stories of loss.  Some are anonymous, others are not.  Go visit and check out the many stories being shared over there today.

Friday, October 14, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 29


Last Friday at work, we said farewell to one of my staff members.  She decided to take a big leap of faith and change career paths.  I think the cake illustrates well her career change:

"From Books to Crooks"


I promised a picture of the Mary statue that I talked about in my post from Wednesday.  My camera's battery failed me Thursday when I tried to take a picture.  But a wonderful co-worker walked over and took a few pictures for me with his phone.  I really need a phone or new iPod Touch that has a camera on it.  One day!  In the meantime, here is the new Mary statue on campus:


The Blessed Mother at the University's Newman Center
Photo coutesy of Daniel N.


Thursday morning I poked my head into the boys room to make sure they were still sleeping before heading downstairs to grab some breakfast.  I found Peter like this:

I can't believe he had rolled over on his own!!  He doesn't like being on his tummy and usually struggles and eventually screams during tummy-time, so I was waiting for him to wake up and be very upset.  Sure enough he was!  I still haven't seen him roll over yet, but I now know he can do it.


If everything works well with the boys' schedules on Saturday, we'll be taking them to their first public square Rosary.  Our Bishop is leading a Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary starting at 3pm across the street from the abortion clinic in town.  I'm not really able to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign, but I can do this.  So that's where we'll be on Saturday.


We had a second showing on our house this week, same people from the week before.  Unfortunately, they are not making an offer.  They liked the downstairs and the yard, but felt that the bedrooms were on the small side.  I have to agree.  Why do you think we're moving?


I hope everyone has a nice weekend!  Fall is finally starting to feel like it is here to stay!  I love it!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nice Surprises on Campus

My office at the university is not too far from the Catholic Newman Center on campus.  As a matter of fact, I usually park in one of the lots either right next to or just across the street from the Newman Center.  So I walk by it pretty much every day, twice.

Monday when I left work I couldn't help but smile as I walked through the Newman Center parking lot.  Right there in the courtyard area of the Center, right next to the parking lot, was a nice size statue of Mary. 

It must be about 5 feet tall and she faces out to the parking lot.  I loved seeing her there!!  What a wonderful addition to our campus and to the Newman Center.

Tuesday morning as I headed into the office I couldn't help but look for her as I walked by the Newman Center again.  Almost like I thought I had dreamed it the day before. 

But there she was.  And this time she had company.

Just as I was walking by, a group of students came out of the Newman Center and walked right over to Mary.  As I took one last look over my shoulder I noticed them all bowing their heads in prayer.

Almost brings tears to my eyes!  How awesome to see this on a college campus.  There is hope for the future of our Church!

And Mary is leading them!!

Friday, October 07, 2011

7 Quick Takes, vol. 28


So I just checked my blog and realized that I haven't posted anything since last Friday, also a Quick Takes post.  I apologize for being so slack with the blog.  I have lots of things in my head, but little time.  I'm sure you can guess why!


One of those ideas in my head is a post for my Parenting after Pregnancy Loss series.  Actually, I have several topics listed, but the first one is proving difficult.  It is started, so hopefully you'll be seeing it soon.


We had a nice weekend with my parents visiting.  They hadn't seen the boys since their baptism in July.  Obviously the boys have changed a lot.  While they were here, they took some pictures of the boys that my father then shared with his brothers once they got back home.  He sent me an email with a picture that one of his brothers put together from two pictures of each of the boys and a picture of my dad from sometime in the mid-50s (he looks like he's maybe 5 or 6 years old, I think).  What do you think?  Do the boys look like their Papa?

Ethan on left, my dad as a kid in the center, Peter on right.


We had a showing of the house!!  It was Tuesday, early evening.  We didn't get any feedback the next day, so we thought that was it.  But then I got an email Thursday with a brief comment.  Apparently it was a woman that came to take a look and she liked what she saw, especially the kitchen counters!  Her husband is coming into town early next week and they hope to see it again. That sounds promising!!  I'm afraid to get my hopes up, this was just our first showing, but it really sounds good.


Wednesday evening I got home from work before my husband.  The babies both needed to eat, but I was alone.  I was hoping that Hubby wasn't far behind.  So I got both diapers changed, the two leftover bottles from daycare in some hot water to warm up, and placed one of the boys in his rocker by my feet.  I've tried to feed them both at the same time and have not been able to do it successfully.  However, before I could sit down to start feeding one of them, the doorbell rang.  I had a leaky bottle I was trying to clean up and fix and one screaming child.  But I went to the door anyway.  A lady was there wondering if we had any brochures of the house.  So I went and grabbed one for her.  She asked if we had a dining room and when I replied yes she seemed very excited.  Then she asked if she could just take a quick peak at it.  Um, Lady, can you not hear the screaming child in the other room???  I said no in a very polite way and she left.  I was then able to start feeding the screaming child, which then meant that the non-screaming child had to pick up where the first left off.  ::sigh::


I was encouraged by this and let my realtor know that we had another potential interest she might be hearing from.  Then on Thursday I get home from work and Hubby informs me that the same lady came back again.  She pulled into the driveway just behind him when he got home from work, told him she had been here the day before, and asked if he had a brochure on the house.  He asked her, "Didn't my wife give you one yesterday?"  She said yes, but she lost it.  Already??  Hubby is convinced she's just crazy.  Maybe I shouldn't count on her yet.  Oh well!


My work life is about to change quite a bit.  I have a staff member who's last day is today.  ::sad::  I've been lucky over the years and have always had good people in that position.  Each time I have to refill that position I worry that I won't find someone as good as any of the previous people.  The person I'm losing is no exception.  She'll definitely be missed.  I'll be taking on several of her job responsibilities in addition to my own as well as asking other staff members to handle some things.  The tricky part is that I probably won't get to replace this position right away and then I'm also going on sabbatical for six months beginning in January.  That means my unit will be down two people out of five for six months.  Yep, I'm a little nervous about how things are going to go.  I do trust my unit, but still, three people doing the work of five is not easy.  First and more important, we're going to celebrate the time we did have with the person who is leaving and wish her luck on her new job and new career.  I'll post a picture of the cake next week!!

For more Quick Takes, check out Jen's awesome blog Conversion Diary.