Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Library Storytime

Tonight I was lucky enough to take Jacob to the Pajama Time story time at the Savage Branch of the Howard County Library. The theme tonight (as you may have guessed from your calendar or from the blog title) was Halloween.

We arrived a little bit late. As we entered, we discovered that Miss Rita had a partner who was translating the books into American Sign Language. Thus we learned signs for orange, black, bat, pumpkin, and a whole host of other spooky words. The story time was almost completely stories, i.e. we didn't sing or dance. But there was a craft!

We formed a big circle and the assistant handed out supplies. We got a purple paper plate, orange yarn, a cardboard bat, a cardboard pumpkin, a cardboard bat, and a cloud with "Happy Halloween" written on it. Jacob grabbed a glue stick and we attached the cloud to the middle of the plate. Then we had to tie the orange yarn to each of the decorations (they had holes punched in them) and then to hole in the bottom of the plate. Getting yarn through a hole was pretty tricky, but Jacob succeeded more often than not. Sometimes he would just get a little bit of yarn in and then let go. The decoration would fall and pull the yarn back out. Luckily, Jacob didn't get frustrated, we just laughed over it. I had to tie the knots since we haven't taught Jacob that yet. When we got home, we showed it off to Mommy:

The bat is hiding behind the pumpkin for some reason!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cry Room Chronicles XVII

We've been fighting a cold on and off for a couple of weeks now, so that's why the blog has been quiet. My apologies!

Today we went to the vigil Mass (4 p.m.) at St. Louis, since our good friend Brian was a lector. His lovely wife and super-cute new-born son joined us in the Children's Chapel. Boy, did she get an eyeful and and earful of our children's rambunctiousness. Jacob started out with the usual routine of "reading" out loud from a book, throwing in lines from the liturgy. Then he started moving a chair around the room. I mean that literally. He took it from the right side to the front, across to the left side and then to the back of the room, almost full circle. Lucy did a lot of running around, too. Her new found skill is climbing onto the chairs, for which she got a lot of practice. The practice was pretty harrowing for us parents to watch but she never hurt herself. Once she had herself perched on the seat, she'd look over at us with a beaming face. It's hard not to smile.

Another boy with his dad and older brother were in the room with us. The boy handed me a book which I held open for him, flipping pages occasionally. He seemed to enjoy it. At least it kept him quiet and occupied. He and Lucy also had a couple of friendly staring matches. No clear victor emerged. They also played the "take everything off the shelf" games, resulting in a pile of books and kneeling rugs. The other dad worked diligently to keep up with them, but re-shelving is a lot harder than de-shelving.

Jacob started his usual "it's time to go upstairs" appeals during the collection. He even went around and shook everyone's hands in order to convince us that the sign of peace was over and it was time to head up. Eventually, we did go upstairs. Jacob put another 50 cents in the book shelf box, while Lucy put her change in the poor box. I was intrigued by Biblical Sudoku Puzzles on the book shelf. We may have to get that once we've paid enough. So far, we've given $1.50. After communion, we did check out the organist. Jacob was pretty good at whispering till he noticed a CD player on one of the pews behind the organ. Then he said full volume, "There's a new CD player!" At least he didn't shout it. And I was able to keep him from playing with it. Luckily the second collection happened just in time to distract him.

The homily was more memorable this week since there was no homily. Two sisters from our sister parish in Haiti are here for the weekend, so they spoke a little bit and we saw a video of the past year's activities at St. John the Evangelist in Haiti. In addition to a parish, St. John's also has a large elementary school and an adult learning center for young women. The video focused on the recovery efforts after the January earthquake and was quite inspiring. See more about ongoing developments here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cookiepalooza at Touche Touchet

An important event is happening today and tomorrow, namely Cookiepalooza. Touche Touchet Bakery makes many wonderful cookies, cupcakes, cakes, pies, muffins and other treats. Right now (October 8 and 9, 2010) they are giving out free samples of four cookies and asking customers to vote on their favorites. Jacob, Lucy and I stopped in and shared one sample (though now that I think about it, maybe we could have received one sample each?). After tallying the children's opinions, I submitted our vote. Since we are Americans, I won't reveal our vote. I will reveal that we bought three cookies from the case (which are only $1 each during Cookiepalooza), though not necessarily one for each of us. We plan to give some to Mommy, who hopefully will participate in the electoral process on Saturday. Here is our takeaway:

l-r: harvest, midnight madness (chocolate mint), ginger snap
Please note: The ginger snaps aren't sold in halves (though you might expect that for the $1 price). Jacob had already eaten his half before I could take a picture. He declared it "Soft and yummy." All the cookies were winners in my book.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cry Room Chronicles XVI

We were all alone in the Children's Chapel this week, which was definitely a good thing. Lucy has been teething for a week, so her sleep pattern is at best erratic. Certainly, it has been insufficient. As a result she was pretty cranky today in church. She wanted to go back and forth between mommy and daddy and to wander around. But she was never really satisfied and she let us know it. She had new shoes on too, so that might have added to her discomfort.

Jacob did fairly well. He was reading through his book with the occasional repetition of words from Mass like "Holy Spirit" or "Thanks be to God." He did sing along with the Alleluia part of the opening hymn, for which I cannot remember the name. He also sang at the Gospel's Alleluia. Again, he put money into the book box instead of the poor box, so we've got another 25 cents towards something. I should be keeping track. Lucy put her change in the poor box, so the poor made out better than the books this week. Jacob did want to see the musicians after communion, but the 8 a.m. Mass only has an organist. He watched with mommy while I took Lucy back to the Children's Chapel.

After Mass, we went to the church's playground. The weather was cool and crisp; the equipment was still dewy. Jacob had a great time climbing around, though at one point he insisted that I not touch him while he was climbing across a precarious part. I tried to explain to him that if I let go, he'd drop to the ground. I was supporting all of his weight. He refused to acknowledge my argument and kept insisting that I let go of him. So, I let him drop kept him up in spite of his denial of his need for me. I wonder how God puts up with us insisting on our own way and using own abilities, when He's really holding us up completely. He must have a LOT of patience. I hope He keeps my patience up with Jacob and Lucy.

I don't remember anything from the sermon on today's readings, but I got the message on the playground.